Hawking, Musk seek ban on weaponized artificial intelligence
MANILA, Philippines – More than 1,000 people, made up of tech luminaries, AI and robotics researchers, and academics, issued an open letter on Tuesday, July 28, warning of what they called a "military AI (artificial intelligence) arms race."
The open letter published by the Future of Life Institute urged people not to start a race to develop the best military warfare AI and to ban "offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control."
Those who signed the letter include Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk of Tesla, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Google Deepmind CEO Demis Hassabis.
The letter explained that should a military power continue to develop AI-enhanced weaponry, it would potentially be the start of a new arms race among countries.
"Unlike nuclear weapons," the open letter continued, "they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing to better control their populace, warlords wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, etc."
The letter added, "Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity."
Artificial intelligence, the open letter explained, can be used to make battlefields safer for civilians and other humans without the need to build new tools for killing. It would also lessen any public backlash against artificial intelligence that might negatively impact its future benefits to society.
The Guardian added that at a UN conference in Geneva in April, the UK opposed a ban on the development of autonomous weaponry, despite pressure from groups that campaigned against autonomous weapons. – Rappler.com
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