Billionaire Elon Musk, who is concerned about artificial intelligence technology, is joining forces with 116 founders, CEOs and researchers from 29 countries to call on the United Nations to ban the use of killer robots, robot arms race and robotic weapons.
According to an open letter signed up by leading in robotics & AI companies such weapons may bring “the third revolution in the war” (after gunpowder and atomic weapons).
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Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, released the letter at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) in Melbourne, the world’s pre-eminent gathering of top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
The open letter warns against the introduction of new technology for fighting and preventing the arms race in the field. “As companies operating in the field and can be responsible for the development of autonomous weapons, we feel obliged to warn,” it says.
This is the first time that AI and robotics companies have taken a joint stance on the issue. Previously, only Canada’s Clearpath Robotics had formally called for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons.
“Once autonomous weapons are developed,” the letter states, “armed conflict can be conducted on a larger scale than ever, which can be captured. These can be weapons of terror that can hurt innocent populations, and weapons that are sensitive to hacker attacks and use of unwanted methods.”
“This is not a hypothetical scenario, but a very real, very pressing concern which needs immediate action,” said signatory Ryan Gariepy, founder of Clearpath Robotics, in a press release. “We should not lose sight of the fact that, unlike other potential manifestations of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people along with global instability.”
The letter concluded in a disturbing tone. “We do not have much time to respond, The moment this Pandora’s box opens, it will be hard to close it.” This painting is not new, Musk, one of the most prominent characters on this letter, is one of the most vociferous prophets of rage in the field, although Tesla is also in charge of developing an autonomous car. He called the artificial intelligence technology “existential danger” and its development “summoning Satan himself.”
Today, the United Nations and international conventions prohibit the use of various weapons, including anti-personnel mines or chemical weapons, because of its inability to distinguish between combatants and civilian populations. When the atomic bomb is perhaps the most prominent example of this, nuclear weapons have enormous destructive power, and while they are ostensibly subject to restrictions and restrictions, they are not subject to sweeping prohibitions.
The questions that an autonomous weapon raises are moral. Such weapons ostensibly remove a person from the equation and give the machines the possibility of making moral decisions such as what is a target and how to deal with it, which can make combat and violence easier and bring about massive destruction. On the other hand, it is possible that the use of this weapon may reduce harm to civilians and will actually use it more morally.
The US, China, Russia, and Israel are currently developing lethal autonomous weapons, and it is already operating at different levels in defensive and offensive systems around the world, primarily unmanned aerial vehicles – and AI programs are used as decision-making aids for commanders.
The campaign began to be banned on an international level in 2013 with a similar letter from senior private sector officials, notably Stephen Hawking and Alon Musk.