Musk, Hawking, and Chomsky warn of impending robot wars fueled by artificial intelligence

The Verge reports: Leading artificial intelligence researchers have warned that an “AI arms race” could be disastrous for humanity, and are urging the UN to consider a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons.” An open letter published by the Future of Life Institute (FLI) and signed by high-profile figures including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Noam Chomsky, warns that weapons that automatically “select and engage targets without human intervention” could become the “Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” fueling war, terrorism, and global instability.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades,” states the letter, citing armed quadcopters (a technology that has already been deployed in a very crude fashion) as an example. The letter notes that although it’s possible that the use of autonomous weapons could reduce human casualties on the battlefield, this itself could be a mistake as it would “[lower] the threshold” for going to war. [Continue reading…]

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