Tech Leaders Urge UN to Ban AI-Based Lethal Weapons

Tech Leaders Urge UN to Ban AI-Based Lethal Weapons 620 360 C-Suite Network

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A group of the world’s top technology leaders, led by Tesla founder Elon Musk, on Sunday published an open letter urging the United Nations to ban the use of artificial intelligence in weapons systems, amid growing concerns that autonomous killer robots could wind up taking control.

The group of 116 companies, most of which specialize in robotics or artificial intelligence, argued that the growing use of AI could revolutionize modern warfare in irreversible ways and pose a danger to nation states.

“Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare,” the letter states. “Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.”

Such weapons could be placed in the hands of terrorists, the letter points out. Despots could use them against innocent civilians. Further, cybercriminals possibly could hack them, turning the weapons against innocent victims.

AI All Stars

Among the signatories to the letter are many of the world’s top names in AI: Musk, who also is founder of SpaceX and OpenAI; Mustafa Suleyman, founder and head of applied AI at Google’s DeepMind; Esben Ostergaard, founder and CTO of Universal Robotics in Denmark; and Jerome Monceaux, founder of Aldebaran Robotics.

A key figure behind the letter, Toby Walsh, a professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, presented it at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne, Australia. The annual event is considered the world’s most important gathering…