Engineered Arts CEO warns against pairing AIs with military robotics

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Engineered Arts is one of the most impressive robotics companies yet. Its in-development Ameca and Mesmer systems are the heights of what humanoid robotics can do. However, the hardware is still far from being consumer ready.

While robotics is still in an early stage, worries are spreading about its dangers. As militarised robots and artificial intelligences start to be created, many are scared about what this could mean for the future. Already politicians have compared contemporary robotics to The Terminator, but how true is that?

Engineered Arts vs AI and Robotics

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Speaking to BBC Science Focus, Engineered Arts CEO Will Jackson explained that robotics does not always come paired with AI. The CEO attempted to reduce mass concerns around robotics, despite the integration of AI.

“There are serious concerns around AI,” Jackson told the outlet. “But AI is not robots, so instead worry about the software and what you put in control of it.”

Jackson explained that integrating artificial intelligence into weaponry isn't a good idea. Additionally, Engineered Arts doesn't agree with combining robots and AI at all.

“I wouldn’t ever put a weapon system in the control of AI, that’s a really terrible idea,” he said. “Do the military use humanoid robots in active service? Not as far as I know. Do they use drones to drop bombs? Yes, so worry about that. It’s not something we’re interested in as a company either, we’ve never actually done defence work."

Read More: AI may already be slightly conscious, claim OpenAI engineers

A real-life Skynet

Jackson told the BBC that a would-be AI apocalypse would not be fought with killer robotics. Instead, a hypothetical self-aware AI program would instead turn more efficient technology against humanity.

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“There’s always that Terminator scenario that people imagine, thinking this will spell the end of the world,” Jackson said. “I wouldn’t worry too much about that… If an AI wanted to destroy us, it would not send a humanoid robot.”

The Engineered Arts CEO explained that the sci-fi trend of killer robots is just that, a fictitious trope. He explained:

“[An AI] would just detonate some warheads, it would be a lot quicker to wipe us out than chasing us around with guns – that scenario just makes a good movie."

Read More: United Nations fails to ban killer robots

The Rise of Consumer Robotics

Consumer robotics is the next major tech trend. While minor robots like Roonbas are already well established, more complex robotics are currently in the works. However, it might still be a while until they're a regular occurrence.

Currently, there are a few major companies working on consumer robotics. Outside of Engineered Arts, the Elon Musk owned Tesla is working on the humanoid Tesla Bot. To know more, check out our Everything To Know About Tesla Bot article. Additionally, Chinese mega-tech company Xaomi is working on its own robotics tech, starting with Cyberdog.

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Humanoid households robots may never end up being a widespread piece of tech. However, it is an intriguing line of hardware that will certainly interest those who will be able to afford it.