Hawking And Musk Lead 1,000 Scientists To Call For AI Warfare Ban



Short Bytes: Over 1,000 leading AI researchers including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have signed a letter raising caution against Artificial Intelligence arms race in militaries worldwide and Autonomous Weapons. They argue that automation of the battles, without human risk and emotions would lower the threshold of getting into a war, thus, call for AI warfare ban.

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence are turning heads everywhere. While some see this as a bright future, others are skeptical of the thought. Scientists such as Stephen Hawking have already told human race to be wary of the rise of machines and its potential to endanger human species itself. Robots showing glimpses of self-awareness, too had created a buzz over past few weeks.

In the latest developments against this possible outcome, over 1,000 AI experts and top notch researchers have signed an open letter that warns a potential “military artificial intelligence arms race” in the near future and calls for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons“. The group includes high profile AI futurists of the notion that complete autonomy of the machines should not materialize and ask for AI warfare ban.

Those who signed the letter at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina and spearheading the 1,000 strong AI and robotic experts in the battle against the machines include Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Goole DepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis. Stephen Hawking even plans to answer questions regarding future of AI on Reddit AMA forum from July 27 to Aug 4.

AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] 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.

The concern of the researchers is that autonomous weapons will no doubt make the battlefield a safer place but when the risk and emotions of losing the men (soldiers) are gone, the threshold of going to war will rise. If any militarily developed country is successful in creating weapons that can destroy the enemy sans human control, then an arms race similar to nuclear weapons will begin across the world.

In no time, these weapons will be readily available and be as common as AK 47s. The authors signing the letter stress that we should have clairvoyance and need to take a decision thinking about the future generations.

Some like Linus Torvalds, the Linux creator thinks that machines are ultimately humans creation and will function according to us. So, all the worries are baseless, but seeing the point of view over 1,000 authors definitely creates uneasiness.

What do you think about this AI warfare ban notion?

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Aashish Sharma

Aashish Sharma

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