Killer robots: Tech experts warn against AI arms race

BBC
July 28,2015

More than 1,000 tech experts, scientists and researchers have written a letter warning about the dangers of autonomous weapons.

In the latest outcry over “killer robots”, the letter warns that “a military AI [artificial intelligence] arms race is a bad idea”.

Among the signatories are scientist Stephen Hawking, entrepreneur Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The letter will be presented at an international AI conference today.

“Killer robots” are currently the subject of much debate and have recently been discussed by committees at the United Nations, which is considering the potential for a ban on certain types of autonomous weapons.

Now, the experts have called for a specific ban on the use of artificial intelligence to manage weapons that would be “beyond meaningful human control”.

“Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons – and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so,” they add.

MIT professor Noam Chomsky, Google AI chief Demis Hassabis, and consciousness expert Daniel Dennett are among others to have endorsed the letter.

The text, which has been published online by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), will be presented to delegates of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires.

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