As technological advances intensify, the futuristic world portrayed in sci-fi movies is becoming increasingly evident. The sophistication of artificial intelligence is like two sides of the same coin. On one side, it has completely revolutionized human capability across many sectors including education, agriculture, banking and finance, telecommunication, healthcare, etc. The other front introduces human society to a darker future of killer robots and remote-controlled weapons. Nine months back when a famous Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in a heavy gun firing, many suspected the usage of an AI-powered remote control weapon. The incident raised fear of the approaching killer robots apocalypse. To make matters worse, a recent report has confirmed the allegations, ensuring that the world could be vulnerable to such attacks in the future.
This is not the first time AI-powered weapons are brought under the scanner. For many years now, world leaders and the countries’ defense departments have been discussing keeping killer robots under control. But no proper conclusion has been reached ever since. Killer robots are considered as the third revolution in warfare, following gunpowder and nuclear arms. Earlier, a UN Report on the Libya conflict has revealed that humans were attacked and killed by lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) for the first time in history. Powered with a camera and artificial intelligence onboard, the Kargu-2 used for the attack is able to kill a bunch of people. After the incident, killer robots and remote-controlled weapons have become even more common. Israel Defense Forces have started publicly using AI-powered remote control weapons to target their enemies.
At a time when governments are using killer robots in warfare instead of human soldiers, commoners find it intolerable. Even the United Nations and many other international committees have condemned the adoption of AI-powered weapons by state-backed groups. Unfortunately, that couldn’t save Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The Killing of Fakhrizadeh with AI-Powered Remote Control Weapon
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is a nuclear scientist from Iran. Although not many Iranians are familiar with his name and his position in the country’s nuclear weapon development, his enemies know him well enough to track down his moves and works.
The world has been resistant to Iran’s motive for nuclear weapons. According to the Nuclear Weapon Framework signed between Iran and the US in 2015, Iran’s uranium stockpile was expected to be reduced by 98% to 300kg for 15 years. It was seen as the biggest achievement of former President Obama. But things between the US and Iran didn’t go well in Trump’s government, which eventually resulted in Trump withdrawing from the agreement. This has raised concern among other global nations. Further reports also portrayed a darker picture with many suggesting that Iran has been using five times the actual amount of Uranium it is supposed to. That was the time Israel gripped its stance and planned for an assassination.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh just happened to be on the list of many nuclear scientists Israel has targeted. But the usage of AI-powered remote control weapons was completely new to the picture. Since 2010, Israel has been using hitmen or bomb attacks to assassinate nuclear scientists in Iran and the usage of AI-powered weapons blew the killing to another level.
Initially, speculations suggested that Fakhrizadeh was killed by hitmen after heavy firing. There were speculations over the usage of remote-controlled weapons. But it all concluded the unraveling of a recent report. According to the report, Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, used an AI-powered remote control weapon to kill the Iranian nuclear scientist.
The Future of Autonomous Warfare
Although bringing every country to sign a proper international agreement on the moderation of AI-powered weapons could be difficult, the time is ripe to come up with an executive plan. World leaders should keep a good balance between artificial intelligence’s development and its shady side. Besides, every country has a different attitude towards killing robots and producing lethal weapons. Therefore, uniting them under the same umbrella to unleash a global policy would be tough, but mandatory.