In an open letter, which was posted on the Future Of Life Institute website, and presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, scientists including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk (of Space-X and Tesla), and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, warn that “a military AI arms race is a bad idea”.
The letter has been signed by over 1,000 AI and robotics researchers and states that: –
“AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”
They warn that, should one military power begin developing AI systems capable of selecting targets and operating autonomously (without human control), it would trigger a global arms race similar to that of the rise of Nuclear weapons – with the world’s superpowers fighting to be the first to harness such a power.
Such an arms race would not be constrained by hard to create materials (involved in Nuclear weapons) and would be difficult to effectively monitor.
Musk and Hawking have previously warned that AI is “our biggest existential threat” and that fullly intelligent, autonomous AI could “spell the end of the human race”.