Elon Musk is leading a group of tech and artificial intelligence calling for an outright ban on killer robots.
Musk is joined by Google’s Mustafa Suleyma leading a group of 116 expects calling for a ban on the development of autonomous weapons.
The UN recently voted to begin formal discussion on the topic of the weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns.
Now the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN asking them to prevent the arms race that they say is underway for killer robots.
The letter says:
“Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare.
“Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.
“These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.
“We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close,”
Toby Walsh, Scientia professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales, one of the signatories said:
“Nearly every technology can be used for good and bad, and artificial intelligence is no different. It can help tackle many of the pressing problems facing society today: inequality and poverty, the challenges posed by climate change and the ongoing global financial crisis.
“However, the same technology can also be used in autonomous weapons to industrialise war. We need to make decisions today choosing which of these futures we want.”