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AI: Musk and Others Call for Prohibition of Autonomous Fighting Robots

Monday, August 21st, 2017 | Gadgets

No intelligent combat robots! An initiative of high-ranking representatives from the field of robotics and technology has demanded a ban on robot robots controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). Among the most prominent signatories are Elon Musk, head of space company SpaceX and electric car manufacturer Tesla, and Deepmind founder Mustafa Suleyman.

"Deadly autonomous weapons are threatening to become the third revolution in warfare," the call said. If weapons that control themselves are once available, then wars would be much greater and faster than human beings could conceive. They could be used by terrorists or despots against civilians. Finally, such weapons could also be hacked and used in an undesirable way. "We do not have much time for action, and once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be difficult to close again."
Robots decide about life and death
This refers to drones, tanks and machine guns, which are controlled by an AI and which independently select and combat targets. Up to now, drones have been automated. But an attack is controlled by humans.
The Open Letter is addressed to the United Nations Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). It is published on the website of the Future of Life Institute (FLI). The FLI had already demanded the ostracism of such weapon systems two years ago.

Robotics see themselves under the responsibility
Among the 116 signatories of the current appeal are representatives of the French robotics company Aldebaran Robotics, the Russian robot manufacturer Promobot as well as of Open Bionics, a British company that develops bionic prostheses. As companies dealing with AI and robots were particularly responsible for warning against such systems, the initiators write. They welcome the CCW's plan to form a group of experts responsible for autonomous weapon systems, and offer their support to the UN.
Musk supports the non-proficient research company Open AI, which deals with non-profit AI. He also warns again and again about the effects of such systems.


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