Future of Life Institute: 2.400 researchers and more than 100 technology companies from around the world have demanded a global ban on deadly autonomous weapons and pledged not to produce them in a letter published by the Future of Life Institute in Stockholm.
We, the signatories, call on world leaders to create a future with strong international standards, regulations and laws against deadly autonomous weapons. Those who are absent today. We choose to be at a high level: we will not participate in or support the development, manufacture, marketing or use of lethal autonomous weapons. We ask technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers and others, to become part of this promise.
Signatories include Elon Musk compatriots and DeepMind co-founders Shane Legg, Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis, Skype founder Jaan Tallinn and some of the top AI researchers such as Stuart Russell, Yoshua Bengio and Jürgen Schm.
Google Deepmind, XPRIZE Foundation and Clearpath Robotics were some of the tech companies that signed up.
The Future of Life Institute website also states that the United Nations 26 countries have also approved the ban on deadly autonomous weapons: Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador , Guatemala, Iraq, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the State of Palestine, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
This letter was published today at the 2018 International IJCAI organized by the Future of Life Institute.
This move comes at a time when leading technology companies face a major internal dilemma for the development of AI for military use.
In May, about twelve employees Google left from the company for its participation in the US Army Project Maven - an artificial intelligence program for the Pentagon. About 4.000 other employees signed a petition asking the company to stop contributing to the program.
Today's letter published in Stockholm by the Future of Life Institute is not the first open alert for the arsenal that uses AI. Last September, more than 100 executives AI business consultants around the world signed an open letter to the UN, warning that their work could be used to build lethal weapons.
Although some companies are calling for a ban on the use of AI in weapons, the field of artificial intelligence will continue to evolve. So there will certainly be some who will try to use technology in weapons systems.
Let us hope that initiatives such as this will find a response from world leaders, as with the development of AI, the need for global supervision and regulation is growing.