Autonomous killer robots may have already killed on the battlefield

A brief passage from a recent UN report describes what could be the first-known case of an autonomous weapon, powered by artificial intelligence, killing in the battlefield.

STM
  • Autonomous weapons have been used in war for decades, but artificial intelligence is ushering in a new category of autonomous weapons.
  • These weapons are not only capable of moving autonomously but also identifying and attacking targets on their own without oversight from a human.
  • There's currently no clear international restrictions on the use of new autonomous weapons, but some nations are calling for preemptive bans.
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Havana syndrome: How a “directed-energy” weapon may be injuring American intelligence operatives

U.S. officials suspect a foreign adversary is targeting American personnel with some form of "directed-energy" weapon.

madscinbca via Adobe Stock
  • In recent history, the first reports of a potential directed-energy attack on U.S. personnel came in 2016 from American diplomats working in Cuba.
  • There's no "smoking gun" evidence of who's behind the attacks, but some U.S. officials suspect the Russians.
  • Supporting that claim is the history of the so-called Moscow Signal, an event in which the Soviets blasted microwaves at the U.S. embassy in Moscow from 1953 to 1976.
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The cost of world peace? It's much less than the price of war

The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
  • That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
  • Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
  • Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
  • Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
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13 films everyone should watch and why—as voted by you

A curated watchlist from Big Think readers.

Credit: Columbia Pictures / Walt Disney Studios
  • We asked Big Think's readers and staff for their recommendations on films everyone should watch.
  • A collection of fiction and non-fiction works from around the world, these movies will entertain and expand your horizons.
  • The films cover various topics, explore numerous themes, and shed light on several controversial historical events.
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What a carve-up: when French and British ruled the world

James Gillray's 'plumb-pudding' caricature is "probably the most famous political cartoon of all time."

Credit: Public domain, via the British Library
  • The fight for world dominance always seems to involve a contest between two superpowers.
  • Back in 1805, it was the British versus the French, and this cartoon pokes fun at both.
  • Pitt and Napoleon are carving out the big slices of the world-pudding – an image endlessly copied since.
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