Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk want to push ban on military robots

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Ricky Joseph

Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, along with hundreds of researchers and artificial intelligence experts, are warning the world to ban so-called "autonomous weapons," warning that they could start a revolution in global weaponry.

In a letter, unveiled as researchers gathered at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires last year, participants argued that developing robots capable of killing while interacting with human operators will be possible within years, not decades. If development is not stalled, it is only a matter of time beforeof weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists and traffickers, they said.

Unlike drones, which rely on a person controlling them remotely, autonomous weapons would seek out and hit targets on their own. Unlike nuclear weapons, which could be made from raw materials that all military powers could afford and obtain, making them easier for maximum production, the authors argued.

The weapons could reduce military casualties by keeping human soldiers off the battlefields, but they would also lower the threshold for going into battle, the letter says. "If any major military power goes ahead with developing Artificial Intelligence weapons, a global arms race will be inevitable, and the end point of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons ifwill become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow (in reference to Russian Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK-47)," he said.

Elon Musk, the mastermind behind SpaceX, had already emphasized the dangers about Artificial Intelligence, calling it "the greatest threat to human existence." Stephen Hawking, the physicist and cosmologist, wrote that while the development of Artificial Intelligence could be the greatest event in human history, "unfortunately, it could also be the last."

The letter says Artificial Intelligence "has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways. "Proponents envision applications in fighting disease, dissipating poverty and aiding rescue. "An association with weaponry, I think, could trigger a backlash that would curtail its advancement," the author said.

Other notable participants in the letter include Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple; Noam Chomsky, the linguist and political philosopher; and Demis Hassabis, chief executive of Google DeepMind.

Originally published in The New York Times under the title Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking Among Hundreds to Urge Ban on Military Robots and translated by Elisson Amboni.

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.