As mentioned in the first entry of this blog, the idea to create a website devoted to peaceful robots came up during an interview with Federico Pistono (interview in German). I used the words „robots for peace“ in my question and he said: „I like that title. We should make it a homepage.“
We met in Barcelona at the end of September 2015, where the automobile company Mazda organized a Challengers Conference (article in German). It turned out to be a very inspiring meeting where I also had the chance to talk with Jody Williams (interview in German), nobel peace laureate for the campaign against land mines; Guy Standing (interview in German), co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network; Alexandar Bandar (interview in German) from Columbus IDEA Foundry; and Jeff Guyton (interview in German), CEO of Mazda Europe.
The basic idea of this website is to concentrate on using robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence technology for improving peace, instead of improving warfare.
Watching the progress of intelligent robots for nearly 20 years, it became increasingly obvious to me that the technology has reached a level where fundamental ethical and societal questions have to be resolved urgently. As a journalist and sports commentator at RoboCup and other robot competitions I could see it virtually from the first row how these machines became smarter, faster, more capable. They are at a very early stage of development yet, but they will become bigger and may some day surpass humans. We have to think very carefully how to build them, because we are providing the basic architecture for the artificial creatures that all our descendents will have to live with.
From this point of view it seems absolutely crazy to weaponize robots. It is like giving a loaded deringer pistol to a newborn baby to play with. We should not allow weapons on robots, even if they are teleoperated by humans, because it will not remain this way forever.
Intelligent robots are a powerful lever that can be used in opposing directions. They may escalate the already explosive antagonisms on Earth, or they may help relaxing them by contributing to more equality and social justice, helping humans by working for them, not stealing their jobs. This website hopes to contribute to the latter.