A warning concerning weapons using artificial intelligence has been issued by tech experts and scientists, including British Professor Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Some critics are in favor of robotic evolution, claiming that the so-called ‘killer robots’ might actually help on the battlefield by saving many lives. Nevertheless, we’re talking about a time-frame of some years away, concerning this special kind of weaponry.
An open-letter signed by many reported that
“autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.”
Around 1.000 influential technology chiefs wrote that autonomous weapons using artificial intelligence without human intervention (i.e. ‘killer robots’) could be described as a menace, as the
“third revolution in warfare, after gun powder and nuclear weapons.”
An important part of the letter said that a global arms races would be inevitable, and that the key question would be whether humanity needs to start an artificial intelligence revolution, globally, or to prevent it from occurring.
It is almost as if the cyborgs from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator’ would come to life as automated killing machines.
It has been estimated that the low-cost of easily obtained raw material for producing these robots will lead to mass production, unlike nuclear weapons which are more costly.
The experts who signed the letter said that it would only be a matter of time until this weaponry falls into the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing supremacy, warlords prone to ethnic cleansing etc.
The letter was signed by experts concerning artificial intelligence, technicians and scientists worldwide and academic figures. Also, historians, geneticists, sociologists, philosophers had joined the cause.
The idea that computer systems might be able to replicate tasks conducted by the human brain, such as language translation and sight (visual perception) is rather threatening, on different levels.
Famous signatories included: Demis Hassabis, Google DeepMind founder, Noam Chomsky, and Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO.
As a conclusion to the letter, they all believe that artificial intelligence is a major and elaborate matter to be reckoned with, robots used as weaponry not being beneficial to humanity.
Humanity does not need robots and tools killing civilians.
The battlefields can indeed be made safer by other means of using artificial intelligence.
As a conclusion, the letter ends with a request for a ban of AI weaponry
“beyond meaningful human control.”
The letter was made public and presented during the opening of the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires.
All in all, authorities are also acknowledging the high risk of the killer robots’ involvement in wars.
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