The world will witness the ‘rise of the machines’ if Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is used in advanced weaponry in the future.
Recently, the United Nations (UN) has been urged to take immediate action to ban the use of AI technology in managing weaponry to prevent “killer robots” in the making.
A killer robot is a fully autonomous weapon that can select and engage targets without human intervention.
At the moment, these robots do not exist yet, but advances in technology are bringing them closer to ‘life’.
Those who support the idea of killer robots believe that the current laws of war could be enough to tackle any problems that might emerge if they are ever deployed.
They argued that a temporary prohibition should be enforced, not an outright ban.
However, groups who opposed the idea believe that killer robots pose as a threat to humanity and the banning of any autonomous “kill functions” is necessary.
116 robotic experts led by Tesla CEO Ellon Musk and Google’s Deepmind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, warn of “a third revolution in warfare”, via an open letter to the organisation.
According to the letter, “lethal autonomous” technology is a “Pandora’s box”, and something needs to be done immediately.
“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,” said the letter.
In an urgent tone, the tech leaders emphasized that time is of the essence. “We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”
The experts are now putting pressure on the UN to include “morally wrong” technology in the list of banned weapons under the organisation’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).
BBC News reports said that the UN committees had previously made a discussion pertaining a potential ban on the development of “killer robot” technology.
More than 1,000 tech experts, including scientists and researchers, wrote a letter to warn on the dangers of autonomous weaponry back in 2015.
Among the signatories of the 2015 letter were scientist Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Mr Musk.