It’s been a weird few days for Elon Musk, one day he’s apologising for calling a hero diver “pedo guy” the next he’s promising not to destroy the world.
The billionaire along with an array of the world’s most respected artificial intelligence researchers have committed to not using their technology to aid the building of autonomous killer robots.
Which is definitely a relief?
It’s hard not to think of this guy when reading about all of this.
With the rise of AI capabilities, concerns have grown about how machine learning could be used on battlefields in the future.
A selection of the world’s best minds, including the founders of DeepMind and a founder of Skype have signed a public pledge to not make “lethal autonomous weapons”.
The pledge also calls on governments from across the world to do more in regulating and restrict the use of autonomous killing machines as fears grow that the arms race could get out of control and threaten the stability of human life as we know it.
At the centre of the pledge is the argument that “the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine”.
“There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others – or nobody – will be culpable,”
“There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual.”
The pledge goes on to discuss how autonomous weapons could have the potential to be more threatening than “nuclear, chemical and biological weapons” – Something which current governments are not equipped to deal with.
The pledge reads:
“These currently being absent, we opt to hold ourselves to a high standard: we will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons,”
“We ask that technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers, and other individuals, join us in this pledge.”
The letter which has already been signed by 170 organisations and 2464 individuals can be found online here.