Really, I didn’t make that up! They really did create it: http://cser.org/
I found it from this BBC article:
Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied
There is no doubt in my mind that humans are quite capable of creating something that is so powerful that it can destroy the human species (and purt near all other higher life forms on the planet if so desired). However, having a bunch of academics have debates that no one but them cares about is about as pointless an exercise that I can think of. Because of the increasing ease in which it is possible to produce such deadly tools (I am quite sure that we will develop a synthetic global plague at some point in the next few decades, hopefully we can produce a treatment for it before we all go extinct) it is merely a matter of when, not if, something like this will happen. Even if we had a global debate where everyone could chime in with their two cents (man, I would like to get that money! Not as nice as Powerball, but more than enough so I wouldn’t have to work for a living any more!) how is that going to stop the terrorist from going forward? Would it have the tiniest impact on what governments do? More than likely, even if society agreed that such research was against its best interest and decided to ban such activity, research would progress but instead of being published would be kept private so when it was eventually unleashed the devastation would be even greater (since no one would be researching cures/treatments/responses because of the ban).
I equate this with discussions about the weather. Since weather is going to happen no matter how much discussion we have, unless you just can’t think of something better to talk about, why even bring it up?
Let us imagine, now, that CSER has been ruminating for a few years and has worked out the detailed response to all conceivable (and a few not) scenarios. Can anyone now imagine that those that hold the reigns of power are going to give a damn about what they have to say in the middle of a crisis? Can anyone imagine a panicked population even stopping their hysterical shouting and clamoring long enough to even hear what these guys have to say, let alone pausing long enough to absorb it and change their behavior? Even if a handful do pause, what is the chance they _won’t_ be clubbed over the head while they ponder to get whatever shreds of resources they had? If this turned out to be a Onion hoax it would make a lot more sense!