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Scientists, researchers call for ban on autonomous weapons

Nobel cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk (founder of Tesla) and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are more than 1899 people who gave their support for an open letter on 27 July 2015 calling for a ban on autonomous weapons.

"The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting," they declare in the open letter published at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires.

"Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing natio bad by thereby lowering the threshold for going to battlens, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group," they point out. Such weapons, which do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones, are nevetheless " bad by thereby lowering the threshold for going to battle".

Practically feasible

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms."

Other endorsers of the letter include Skype co-founder Jaan Tallin, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and Noam Chomsky of MIT. Signatories include many artificial intelligence and robotics researchers.

The letter was published on the Future of Life Institute and even PC World through an article by Peter Sayer of IDG News Service.

Sources

Future of Life 27 July 2015

PC World 27 July 2015