Is Skynet already here?

If Skynet comes, Microsoft is probably not innocent

If technological developments go wrong and one day a kind of Skynet actually emerges and is directed against humanity, it is very likely that Microsoft is to blame. But various other technology companies are also among the possible causes of such a catastrophe. The scenario from the "Terminator" films should be familiar to most users: The technical development led to autonomous combat robots whose control AI one day came to the conclusion that humans themselves are the greatest threat to them. Thereupon the whole system turned against its creators and extinguished most of the life on earth.

Such a future is certainly not completely unrealistic - albeit quite improbable. The problems start at a much lower level, however. After all, there is a profound ethical problem when developing autonomous weapon systems that make decisions about the life and death of people on their own. Various forces around the world have therefore been calling for such systems to be completely outlawed for some time and in order to build up public pressure on the forces involved, the Dutch organization Pax has now published an analysis in which the role of 50 companies is assessed that is involved in researching the necessary Technologies play a crucial role.

In the evaluation, however, not only the work on the technologies in question flowed into, but also the question of whether companies are already working with the military and what position they occupy in the entire dispute. And Microsoft is not doing very well here - if not as the only company.

Activists show the near future of killer robots in a disturbing video


Not even a denial

There are other examples as well. At Google, for example, there is at least one intensive discussion within the company about the extent to which the company should participate in military projects. Some time ago, when it came to making the highly developed image analysis AIs fit to examine the images of military drones, the workforce went on the barricades until the corporate management stopped working with the Pentagon.

At Microsoft it looks quite different. The US military has been an important customer for the Redmond company for a long time and they are currently also applying for the major JEDI order, within the framework of which a cloud infrastructure is to be operated for the armed forces. In contrast to some other high-tech companies, Microsoft has also not clearly stated that they are currently not working on technologies for autonomous combat systems. Amazon also failed to provide a clear answer - the second promising JEDI applicant alongside Microsoft.

The Pax people, on the other hand, see few problems with Google. Because the search engine company was not only noticed by the corresponding discussions, but also has established ethical principles that prohibit participation in such projects.

See also:Elon Musk, DeepMind and others: No killer robots, we promise!Film, Killer Robot, Terminator 2TriStar Pictures

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