How a computer will kill you

People often think about how they die. With the fast rate technology is developing, people will likely die through a regular computer.

How could they die?

Artificial intelligence is getting better and better for decades. We are now at the point where the U.S. military allows the use of AI. For now, the AI overtakes minor tasks and helps the pilot, but the future could look different.

Imagine a pilot who does not need any breaks, makes no mistakes and is always there. He shoots with high precision and decides in milliseconds who to kill.

Why would the military do this?

AIs are now capable of doing anything. With enough training, they are perfect killing machines. The judgement day of Terminator 2 could get real, but only if the government pushes this.

It has pros like people do not need to risk their lives, but people will still die.


Another way of dying would be through a self-driving car. Imagine a driving vehicle detects a child on the street. The car is too fast to stop, so the only other opportunity in our example is to drive to the left. There is an older adult on the street. How should the AI decide?

Kill the child or the older adult? Should the AI be allowed to decide and give each human life a value? If so, who decides the matters.

Of course, some people will say “Can the car get both?” but in reality, such decisions are nightmares, which people do not understand. A human mind has to decide which person the car would kill. Imaging a developer hears that his code decided the death for someone. Such experiences would change the mindset of someone forever.

Super AI

Imagine, a team in the future creates a self-aware powerful AI which should do a simple task. One day, the AI asks its creators to give it access to the web for some minutes. In the worst case, the AI would be capable of hacking several computers to distribute itself. While distracting its founders, it is already building nanobots to kill every human on earth. It would not take long until the AI took over the world.

A scenario like this may happen, but it is not very likely. The chances are as low as winning in the lottery thousand times in a row, except someone is training the AI to do precisely that.


With the growth of technology, more deaths will likely happen through a computer decision. It is unpreventable and could affect many of us.

If the government uses AI, then it could be a possibility that computers rule us in the future. The computers could decide which one of us gets what. What a nightmare!



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Christoph Krassnigg

Christoph Krassnigg

Developer at block42. Student. Java fanatic. Loves to write about techy things.