Vladimir Putin Warns of Genetically Engineered Super Soldiers ‘Worse Than a Nuclear Bomb’

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Russian scientists were close to breaking the genetic code and could make “super soldiers,” which be “worse than a nuclear bomb.”

Speaking at a youth festival in the Black Sea city of Sochi, the Russian leader warned that scientists could create an army of genetically engineered soldiers that could not feel “pain or fear.”

“A man has the opportunity to get into the genetic code created by either nature, or as religious people would say, by the God,” he said.

“All kinds of practical consequences may follow. One may imagine that a man can create a man not only theoretically but also practically.” said the president. “He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician, or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret, or pain.

Engineers test a four-meter-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, on December 27, 2016. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie 'Avatar.' (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
Engineers test a four-meter-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, on Dec. 27, 2016. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie ‘Avatar.’ (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

“As you understand, humanity can enter, and most likely it will in the near future, a very difficult and very responsible period of its existence,” said Putin.  “What I have just described might be worse than a nuclear bomb.”

Putin called on world leaders to establish guidelines to limit genetic manipulation, saying “When we do something, whatever we do, I want to reiterate it again—we must never forget about the ethical foundations of our work.”

A Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MARS) armed robot is seen as the Defense Department holds its 'DOD Lab Day' on May 14, 2015 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
A Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MARS) armed robot is seen as the Defense Department holds its ‘DOD Lab Day’ on May 14, 2015, at the Pentagon in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Fear of AI

While the Russian strongman normally presents a cold, calculating image, it seems that inside he lives in fear of the future being some sort of science fiction dystopia.

Last month, while speaking with Arkady Volozh, CEO of internet firm Yandex, Putin said he feared technology would “eat us.”

He explained that he did not mean robots would consume human flesh, but that humans would be outstripped by robots whose artificial intelligence and mechanical bodies would outperform humans in every respect.

Putin used the example of earth-moving machinery, pointing out that steam shovels were better at digging than people.

Volozh said he replied, “But we don’t get eaten by excavators.”

Putin said, “They don’t think,” implying that that kind of physical power coupled with independent intellect might well turn on humans.

This picture shows an Army robot Minirogen (mini robot for the engineering) at the Satory military camp in Versailles, southwest of Paris, on July 6, 2017. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)
Army robot Minirogen (mini robot for the engineering) at the Satory military camp in Versailles, southwest of Paris, on July 6, 2017. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

According to government-funded TV station RT, Putin raised the topic of AI with students across Russia via a satellite link on Sept. 1, the first day of the school year.

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world,” he told them.

“If we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with the entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today,” he added.

In response to this statement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted:

From NTD.tv

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