Scientists and business leaders, including Professor Walsh, called for the use of lethal autonomous weapons, or'killer robots', to be outlawed. SYDNEY - Scientists from around the world have called for the United Nations (UN) to take action to stop the proliferation of "killer robots". At the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne on Monday, technology leaders congregated at the event and requested that the development of weaponry using artificial intelligence be halted as "once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be hard to close." As part of this open letter to the UN, the scientists and business leaders, including world-renowned AI expert Toby Walsh, Elon Musk of Tesla, and James Chow of China's UBTECH, called for the use of lethal autonomous weapons, or killer robots, to be outlawed much in the same way as chemical and biological weapons on the battlefield. "Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.
The artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Chinese company Tencent beat world number-two Go player Ke Jie last week with a two-stone handicap, the official People's Daily newspaper reported. Handicaps are used in Go to even out the difference in skill level between players. Google's AlphaGo AI beat Ke last year just months after defeating fellow grandmaster Lee Se-dol of South Korea -- however AlphaGo has never competed against top-level players using a handicap. AlphaGo has since been placed in retirement, with Google instead focusing its energies on its self-teaching AlphaGo Zero machine, which mastered the complex game in 40 days last year. Tencent drew on research papers on AlphaGo Zero released publicly by Google to create its own champion, and its victory is a sign of just how seriously China is taking the race for AI supremacy.
NEW YORK--China is eroding America's military superiority and conventional deterrence through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in its military strategies, operations, and capabilities, an independent U.S. federal commission warned, adding that the United States needs to step up investment in the technology and apply it to national security missions. China's communist regime has established research and development institutes to advance its military applications of AI. Those institutes are equivalent to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)--a U.S. agency under the Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for military use. Military applications of AI technologies are being developed by Chinese researchers in the areas of "swarming, decision support, and information operations," while the country's defense industry is pursuing the development of "increasingly autonomous weapons systems," an interim report released by The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence said on Nov. 4. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) declared it would be the world leader in AI by 2030, part of its broader strategy to challenge America's military and economic position in Asia, as Beijing also pursues a process of "intelligentization" as a new imperative of its military modernization.
Campaigners are renewing calls for a pre-emptive ban on so-called "killer robots" as representatives of more than 80 countries meet to discuss the autonomous weapons systems. The use of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) is "a step too far", said Mary Wareham, the global coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. "They cross a moral line, because we would see machines taking human lives on the battlefield or in law enforcement. "We want weapon systems and the use of force to remain under human control," Wareham said. Wareham spoke to Al Jazeera before Monday's meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on a possible ban on LAWS.