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Robots to Kill Humans to "End Suffering?"

Wesley J. Smith

Our "neurotic fear of suffering" could cause robots to kill us all out of "kindness," a tech executive has warned. From the Daily Mail story:

Future generations could be exterminated by Terminator-style robots unless machines are taught the value of human life.

This is the stark warning made by Amsterdam-based engineer Nell Watson, who believes droids could kill humans out of both malice and kindness. Teaching machines to be kind is not enough, she says, as robots could decide that the greatest compassion to humans as a race is to get rid of everyone to end suffering.

‘The most important work of our lifetime is to ensure that machines are capable of understanding human value,’ she said at the recent ‘Conference by Media Evolution’ in Sweden. ‘It is those values that will ensure machines don’t end up killing us out of kindness.’

Why would we expect robots to be more enlightened than many of our so-called thought leaders? 

Pay attention to debates around euthanasia, health-care rationing, transhumanism, animal rights, radical environmentalism — and other war on humans agenda items. We may not be into total genocide, but the quest to end suffering definitely puts many of us in the proverbial cross hairs.

Before we can teach robots the value of human life, we need to accept it ourselves.

Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.

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