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Elon Musk: Killer Robots Must Be Banned by UN

Elon Musk: Killer Robots Must Be Banned by UN

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, speaks during the International Space Station Research and Development Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel July 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 21 August 2017 11:41 AM

Elon Musk joined other experts in saying that so-called killer robots must be banned by the United Nations in an open letter to the world body on Monday.

Musk, who was joined in the letter by Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and 114 artificial intelligence and robotic leaders, said they feared that autonomous weapons could lead to larger conflicts in the future, noted Mashable.

The letter was used to kick off the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday.

"Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare," the letter said. "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. We therefore implore the High Contracting Parties to find a way to protect us all from these dangers," the letter continued.

Fortune said the U.N. was considering adding such weapons to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons treaties, which currently restrict chemical weapons, blinding laser weapons, mines, and other weapons deemed to cause "unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately."

A U.N. group was slated to talk Monday about autonomous weapons, including drones, automated machine guns and tanks, but the meeting has been postponed until November, CNBC reported.

It was not the first time Musk has spoken out about the challenges of artificial intelligence, which he told the National Governors Association last month was a threat to humans, National Public Radio reported.

"AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don't think people fully appreciate that," Musk told the governors, according to NPR. "I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it's too late. … I think people should be really concerned about it. I keep sounding the alarm bell."

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Elon Musk joined other experts in saying that so-called killer robots must be banned by the United Nations in an open letter to the world body on Monday.
elon musk, killer, robots, banned
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2017-41-21
Monday, 21 August 2017 11:41 AM
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