By Soulskill from Slashdot's smart-money-is-on-the-lethal-autonomous-weapons department
writes: Should robots be allowed to make life and death decisions? This will be the topic of heated debate at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva next week (April 13-17th, 2015). As part of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), experts from all over the world will gather to discuss 'questions related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems.' The Open Roboethics Research Initiative will be presenting public views at the debate.
Human rights groups are urging the UN to ban such weapons
. A new report titled "Mind the Gap
" details the accountability issues that need to be solved before going any further. "A key concern with fully autonomous weapons is that they would be prone to cause civilian casualties in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The lack of meaningful human control that characterizes the weapons would make it difficult to hold anyone criminally liable for such unlawful actions
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By timothy from Slashdot's there-should-an-absurdity-check department
Ars Technica reports some good news on the YRO front. An excerpt:A year-and-a-half after the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a crowd-funded challenge to a patent being used to threaten podcasters, the patent has been invalidated.
In late 2013, after small podcasters started getting threat letters from Personal Audio LLC, the EFF filed what's called an "inter partes review," or IPR, which allows anyone to challenge a patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The order issued today by the USPTO lays to rest the idea that Personal Audio or its founder, Jim Logan, are owed any money by podcasters because of US Patent No. 8,112,504, which describes a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence."
The article points out, though, that the EFF warns Personal Audio LLC is seeking more
patents on podcasting. Mentioned within: Adam Carolla's fight against these patents
and our Q&A with Jim Logan
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