Robots must learn to value humans or 'they could kill us out of kindness'

A leading futurist claims super-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do

Robots should be taught to appreciate human value to ensure they do not one day “kill us out of kindness”, a leading futurist has warned.

Nell Watson told The Conference in Malmo, Sweden, that robots will soon reach the stage where they have the same level of cognition as a bumblebee, creatures which are both socially aware and can navigate their way around their environment.

This advancement in artificial intelligence will be the first example of machines exhibiting ‘system one’ thinking used by humans to develop assumptions about the world around them.

Robots currently use 'system two' intelligence systems which rely on rules, according to Wired.

Ms Watson said the emergence of system one robots will create “huge change” in society globally. House-holds will have domestic-help robots and self-driving cars, while professions such as stockbroking, law and medical analysis will be undertaken by robots, not humans.

 

However, Ms Watson expressed concerns over super-intelligent robots. "I can't help but look at these trends and imagine how then shall we live?” she said. “When we start to see super-intelligent artificial intelligences are they going to be friendly or unfriendly?"

It would not be enough to teach robots benevolence, as they may decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing they could do.

"The most important work of our lifetime is to ensure that machines are capable of understanding human value," said Ms Watson. "It is those values that will ensure machines don't end up killing us out of kindness."

A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested Her words of caution come after Stephen Hawking warned that while the rapid progress in artificial-intelligence (AI) research could be best thing that happened to humanity, it could also be the worst.

Writing in The Independent, he said that while it's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as science fiction, "this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history".

The development of robots also sparked concerns earlier this year when Human Rights Watch warned 'killer robots' could “jeopardise basic human rights” as the United Nations held its first ever multinational convention on lethal autonomous weapons systems.

So-called killer robots are autonomous machines able to identify and kill targets without human input. Fully autonomous weapons have not yet been developed but technological advances are bringing them closer to fruition.

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art

The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Domino Developer and Administrator

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

    Systems Build Engineer (Development) - Peterborough

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Trainee Recruitmen...

    Account Director / AD

    £Competitive + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Director with a ba...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?