Is a killer robot army on the verge of destroying humanity?
Elon Musk, the man behind companies like Tesla, SolarCity, SpaceX, and well-known British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking are regularly warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)–and particularly “killer robots.”
The good news is that Musk and Hawking are not crazy, the killer robots are real. The bad news is that Musk and Hawking are not crazy, the killer robots are real. Well, almost–they have not been developed yet. But the rapid pace at which technology is evolving brings them very near to becoming reality. These killer robots would take the form of fully autonomous weapons that do not require any human intervention for their operation.
Musk and a group of more than 100 leaders and experts in the field of artificial intelligence are urging the U.N. to ban the development of such “killer robots.”
In an open letter to the organization, Musk and the AI and robotics experts urged the U.N. to prevent “a third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”
The letter says, “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.”
These technology leaders further warned, “We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s Box is opened, it will be hard to close.”