Scientists warn against a global artificial intelligence arms race.
Leading scientists, among them Stephen Hawking, are admonishing the development of assassin robots, which they believe will cause a destructive momentum in a world’s arms race according to The Telegraph report.
The world-renowned physicist joins a chorus of 1,000 other scientific luminaries, researchers and business leaders in signing an open memorandum warning of synthetic weapons. Specifically, the urgent warning is based off the rationale that artificial intelligence will one day operate autonomously within years not decades.
“If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the end point of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” they say. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk also voiced concern and penned their support.
Their fear also is grounded in the event that terrorists, dictators and warlords acquire the technology. They added, “Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilising nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.”
Although new technology has allowed weaponry to operate autonomously, drones still require humans to remotely control them, pin-point targets and launch weapons. But extrapolating on this, scientists believe in the potential that armed quadcopters could “search for and eliminate people meeting certain predefined criteria.”
Such weapons are so thoughtful they have clustered into a new revolution of warfare succeeding gunpowder and nuclear armament. The letter finishes with:“We believe that AI has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways and that the goal of the field should be to do so.”