We have seen Google Assistant perform a variety of tasks ranging from simpler ones like turning on lights to scary ones where it can have a human-like conversation during phone calls.
The latest addition to its capabilities is firing a gun. Alexander Reben is an artist who taught Assistant how to shoot a gun. Don’t worry, nobody was hurt as the target, in this case, was an apple.
He posted a 30-second video, titled “Google Shoots,” on YouTube where Reben says “OK Google, activate gun.” There is a rigged up system next to Google Home and a gun that shoots an apple. As the apple falls off the stand, we can hear the Google Assistant in the background saying, “OK, turning on the gun.”
The video is not visually exciting but thinking about how AI can be manipulated to cross the forbidden lines, gives you a chill.
Reben told Engadget that even though he picked Google Assistant to perform this feat, but he could have used Amazon’s Echo or other virtual assistants for the same.
The hacked-together system used for firing was made by using spare parts in his studio like a solenoid, string, and a lamp control relay.
He also added that the device could be used to trigger a “back massaging chair or an ice cream maker,” but he chose a gun to raise a concern over “unintended consequences of technology and the futility of considering every use case.”
With the uprise of AI in our world and introduction of technologies like Google Duplex showing how creepy virtual assistants could be, Reben’s video does make a valid point. What if someone manipulated it to pull the trigger on a person?
Even though tech companies promise to take an ethical route when it comes to the future of AI and its application, it’s high time to lay some ground rules concerning the ethics of artificial intelligence.