Tech titans call on United Nations to ban 'killer robots'
Tech titans call on United Nations to ban 'killer robots'
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21 Agosto, 2017, 09:58
"These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways", reads a portion of the letter. Australia is not among those that have already stated their position.
The original 2015 letter, directed at the United Nations, was co-signed by over 1,000 different scientists and researchers from around the world, including Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and Steve Wozniak.
Musk has been warning of the perils of artificial intelligence for years, saying it's "potentially more unsafe than nukes". Two years ago, at the last IJCAI meeting, Walsh released another open letter, which called on countries to avoid engaging in an AI arms race.
There is an urgent tone to the message from the technology leaders, who warn that "we do not have long to act".
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is-practically if not legally-feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: "autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms". An earlier report had suggested that if nothing is done to prevent such an arms race, under current laws, manufacturers and programmers will escape liability for deaths that will be caused by these killer robots.
"We need to make decisions today choosing which of these futures we want", says Walsh.
Autonomous weaponry is for the most part still at the prototype stage, although the technology is rapidly improving.
A killer robot is a fully autonomous weapon that can select and engage targets without human intervention. "It can help tackle numerous pressing problems facing society today: inequality and poverty, the challenges posed by climate change and the ongoing global financial crisis". They do not now exist but advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.
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"The number of prominent companies and individuals who have signed this letter reinforces our warning that this is not a hypothetical scenario, but a very real, very pressing concern which needs immediate action", Gariepy said.
Concern about lethal autonomous weapons has been a topic of interest at the United Nations lately, which recently voted to begin formal discussions on enhancing policy regarding them.
The United States has not communicated a solid position on the matter, and while it supported the convening of this UN group, one can't imagine the world's biggest military power willingly supporting a proposal that would stifle its ability to develop complex new weapons systems - especially when Russian Federation has already indicated support for the Kalashnikov AI systems. "This is vital for national and global security".
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