When one talks about robots, the picture that flashes through the mind is that of a machine shaped like a human being. It does not have flesh and blood but is made out of metals and advances menacingly to destroy anything in its path. It is a device created by man to help mankind and make his work easier and its effectiveness depends on its inbuilt Artificial Intelligence that acts as its brain.

Daily Mail UK reports that a joint UK-US military exercise has been recently held in Germany to observe how robot soldiers will operate in wars of the future because, in the opinion of experts, such soldiers will play a major role in future battles.

The exercise was one in which human soldiers watched their robotic counterparts carry out dangerous operations by using remote-controlled tanks.

Robots cannot be wished away

Action movies of today show robots at war to gain control of extraterrestrials who try to take over the planet but, robots have already become a part of our lives. When in flight, the autopilot takes over from the actual pilot – that is possible due to artificial intelligence. Similarly for drones which have become commonplace. These are unmanned aerial vehicles, or remote-controlled robots and have already proved their usefulness in wars.

The UK-US war exercise in Germany was an extension of that logic. It was a part of the Robotic Complex Breach Concept demonstration, and the purpose was to unveil the potentials of robots that can undertake dangerous assignments on the battlefield.

Actual soldiers provided remote controlled covering fire while regular tanks cleared a minefield to bridge a trench. The technology is new, and apart from preventing loss of lives during wars, it will be a boon to mankind by revolutionizing the methodology of fighting future wars.

Beware of pitfalls

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is an entrepreneur par excellence.

He loves to innovate and has his eyes on colonization of Mars. In order to ensure success in these endeavors, he will have to rely on robots and artificial intelligence in a big way. However, he his reservations on these.

According to News AU, he has warned that AI poses a major risk for mankind. In his opinion, a day might come when a robot-like dictator could evolve unless strict regulations are imposed to check dangerous trends.

Musk has been critical of unregulated research projects pertaining to artificial intelligence. In 2014, he had said that AI is the biggest threat to mankind and next year he followed it up with a request to the UN to ban killer robots. He has also predicted that the urge to become the leader in AI could lead to World War III.