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Elon Musk leads 116 robotic experts urging ban on killer robots

  • Published at 02:35 pm August 21st, 2017
Elon Musk leads 116 robotic experts urging ban on killer robots
World’s leading robotic experts and artificial intelligence (AI) companies have sent an open letter urging the United Nations to ban the development of killer robots with lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third the age of war. In the letter, a group of 116 experts from across 26 countries led by Tesla's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk and Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of Google's artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies, warned of "a third revolution in warfare", reports BBC. The letter called for a ban of "lethal autonomous" technology which they have compared with Pandora's Box saying: "Once this Pandora's Box is opened, it will be hard to close." "Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at times scales faster than humans can comprehend," the letter said. According to the experts - like in Greek mythology where opening Pandora's box led to evil coming out - the killer robots may initiate wars that may well be hard to resolve. "These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways," it added. The technology pioneers delivered a message through the letter in an urgent tone warning the UN that "we do not have long to act" and the development of the killer robots should be immediately banned. Describing the killer robots as morally wrong technology, the experts asked this autonomous weapon to be added to the list of banned weapons under UN's Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). A meeting by a UN group focusing on autonomous weaponry was scheduled for Monday which has been postponed until November, according to the group's website. A killer robot does not need any human direction and is completely an autonomous weapon, being able to select and employ targets alone. These robots are still a concept which has not yet been developed. However the advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality. UN committees have previously discussed possibility of blocking the development technology of killer robots. Many experts believe any autonomous technology which can be programmed to kill is a threat to humanity. More than 1,000 tech experts, scientists and researchers including scientist Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk wrote a letter to the UN warning them about the dangers of autonomous weaponry in 2015.