With the recent concern on security issues, artificial intelligence experts have been on the campaign to end killer robots which “have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people” and could be used by terrorists and hacked to behave in despicable ways. The Tesla Chief, Elon Musk is among the signatories to sign on the open letter sent to the United Nations on the danger of killer robots. The letter warned explicitly:
“Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it’ll be hard to close.”
Killer robots are autonomous weapons that have the ability to select and engage targets without human intervention. Those in opposition to this technology believe that these autonomous weapons are a threat to humanity and for this purpose, should be banned. Although killer weapons do not currently exist, advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.
The 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence who imprinted their signatures in the open letter are urging the UN to place a ban on the use of artificial intelligence in managing weaponry. The letter says:
“Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.”
Prior to this conference, Musk had always warned against the reliance on artificial intelligence and in fact had a clash with Mark Zuckerberg on the subject.
The experts expressed concern on the danger that looms on humanity and called on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to protect every individual from the dangers posed by killer robots. Bengio, one of the experts appealed to the international community to view these autonomous weapons the same way as “other morally wrong weapons” such as biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
The signatories of the memo include: Tesla Boss, Elon Musk (USA), Mustafa Suleiman, founder of Google’s DeepMind (UK), Juergen Schmidhuber, founder of Nnaisense (Switzerland) among others.
This will not be the first time where researchers from 26 countries will issue a warn on the danger of robotics. In 2015, over 1000 technology experts and researchers issued a similar protest on the dangers of autonomous weaponry.
According to the United Nation’s website, a group aimed at robot weapons cancelled a supposed a meeting to take place today and rescheduled it for November. The UN has the time to act now while there is still time.