Killer Robots v. Free Speech

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Jul 11, 2013 at 01:12 PM

Daniel Suarez’ TED Talk explains how the rise of autonomous robotic weapons threaten free speech.

The TED Talk

A chilling look at how a repressive regime could track and kill dissenters using social network data. 

Ironically, Westerners are more vulnerable to the rise of the drones than people in less developed countries because of our rich data.  Whether you are a marketing executive using data to target a shopper or a killer using data to target a victim, targeting is targeting.  And we are the most data intensive, easily targeted society ever.

We are more visible to machines than any people in history and this perfectly suits the targeting needs of autonomous weapons.


What do we do about this?  Daniel discusses transparency, global treaties and the development of a reactive robot immune system.  About transparency:

No robot should have an expectation of privacy in a public space

This involves the equivalent of license plates on cars.  Every drone needs to be equipped with tracking information and all citizens should have access to an app that shows drone presence. 

And of course, we’ll need civic drones to capture and contain rogue drones, and more!  Watch Daniel’s TED Talk and read the novel.

Update:  Machines Can See Better

They have ways of seeing that we don’t.  Check it this video - useful technology that can also turn into ways machines can read your emotions better than you can.

Machines are Better Marksmen… Marksthings

And here is Stephen Colbert talking about the Precision Guided Rifle.  It can kill someone and upload the video clip to Youtube.

But wait!  There’s more!  They can also psycho analyze you.  The most chilling one of all!

And Your DNA Is Up For Surveillance Grabs

As if that wasn’t enough to worry about.  Per Genetic surveillance: Artist sketches faces from DNA:

Heather Dewey-Hagborg is an artist who creates portraits of strangers based on DNA extracted from random rubbish.

The project is meant to raise awareness of genetic surveillance, Dewey-Hagborg says.

“We should be concerned because we don’t know, yet, how our DNA might be used against us in the future,” she says.

Hagborg sounds like cyborg.

Robots for Self Expression

Then again, the bots can just as easily be programmed to help artists express themselves.  Go drone enhanced speech!  Graffitti artists without borders aided and abetted by drones:

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