Killer robots should be urgently banned before a wave of weapons of mass destruction gets out of control, industry leaders say. Robotics and artificial intelligence experts have signed of an open letter demanding the UN prohibit the use of such weapons internationally. The weapons, including lethal microdrone swarms, are on the edge of development with the potential to create global instability, they warn. Killer robots should be urgently banned before a wave of weapons of mass destruction gets out of control, industry leaders say. In June the Pentagon awarded an $11 million (£8.4 million) contract to build a'combined-arms squad' of human and robotic capabilities.
Many current fears around AI and automation center around the idea that superintelligence could somehow "take over," turning streets around the globe into scenes from The Terminator. While there is much to be gained from discussing the safe development of AI, there's another more imminent danger: Autonomous weapons. On Friday, after three years of negotiations, the UN unanimously agreed to take action. At the Fifth Review Conference of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, countries around the world agreed to begin formal discussions--which will take place for two weeks at the 2017 UN convention in Geneva--on a possible ban of lethal, autonomous weapons. Talks will begin in April or August, and 88 countries have agreed to attend.
Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) make it possible to design weapons systems that can target and attack without human intervention. This week, experts are expected to attend a meeting to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva. Today's security threats have expanded in scope and seriousness. There can now be millions -- or even billions -- of dollars at risk when information security isn't handled properly. Representatives from more than 70 UN member states are expected to attend the meeting.
Pioneers from the worlds of artificial intelligence and robotics – including Elon Musk and Deepmind's Mustafa Suleyman – have asked the United Nations to ban autonomous weapon systems. A letter from the experts says the weapons currently under development risk opening a "Pandora's box" that if left open could create a dangerous "third revolution in warfare". The open letter coincides with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, which is currently being held in Melbourne, Australia. Ahead of the same conference in 2015, the Telsa founder was joined by Steven Hawking, Steve Wozniak and Noam Chomsky in condemning a new "global arms race". Suggestions that warfare will be transformed by artificially intelligent weapons capable of making their own decisions about who to kill are not hyperbolic.
UK robotics professor leading calls for a worldwide ban on autonomous weapons We can't rely on robots to conform to international law, says Noel Sharkey Sharkey is chairman of and NGO leading a campaign to "Stop Killer Robots" Autonomous robots could destabilize world security and trigger unintentional wars We can't rely on robots to conform to international law, says Noel Sharkey Sharkey is chairman of and NGO leading a campaign to "Stop Killer Robots" As wars become increasingly automated, we must ask ourselves how far we want to delegate responsibility to machines. Where do we want to draw the line? Weapons systems have been evolving for millennia and there have always been attempts to resist them. But does that mean that we should just sit back and accept our fate and hand over the ultimate responsibility for killing to machines? Over the last few months there has been an increasing debate about the use of fully autonomous robot weapons: armed robots that once launched can select their own targets and kill them without further human intervention.