The Future of Life Institute has published an open letter decrying the development of autonomous weapon systems. Signed by over 1700 experts from the field of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, including Professor Stephen Hawking, the letter warns of such systems being available in “years, not decades”.

“Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons”
Although the letter acknowledges AI has the potential to improve battlefield safety and survivability the authors claim autonomous offensive weapons “lower the threshold for going to battle” and could in fact increase the number of casualties suffered as nations are more likely to engage in conflict. The UK is one of five states currently known to be developing weapons controlled by AI, such as the BAE Taranis UAV.

South Korea currently operates the DoDAMM Super aEgis 2, a completely autonomous turret which can identify and engage targets at a range of several kilometres. Equipped with a thermal imager the turret can identify and lock on to a human at up to 10,000 feet in rain, snow or fog.

Other signatories to the letter include Tesla & SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Demis Hassabis, the Head of AI Engineering at Google.

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Andy Berry
6 years ago

an interesting perspective!

Jamie Minahan
6 years ago

With am operator at the other end with a kill switch it shouldn’t be a problem but yes it raises valid arguments

Glen Ann-Marie Beatty
6 years ago

Didn’t the Pope try to ban the crossbow, the ban didn’t work. Banning or decrying doesn’t work. It is the result of naive uninformed fear, rather we should recognise, inform, discuss and understand.

Jake James Cameron Hayes
Jake James Cameron Hayes
3 years ago

A crossbow is different to a robotic weapons of war..