She puts her electronic smarts to work with frightening results, manipulating and outwitting her human handlers.
The scientists painted the Doomsday scenario of autonomous weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, dictators or warlords hoping to carry out ethnic cleansing. They warn that weapons that “select and engage targets without human intervention” could be “feasible within years, not decades”, and a “global arms race is virtually inevitable” if any major power deploys such weapons.
The letter points out that the threshold of acquiring autonomous weapons will be very low in the future since “they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce”. The gap between what’s possible today and what Hollywood puts on the movie screen is huge, said Oren Etzioni, chief executive officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle. Amid the latest protest over “killer robots”, the letter says a military AI arms race could pose many threats. “Nasa still has to control spacecraft remotely”. The artificial intelligence professor at NICTA and the University of New South Wales noted that all technologies have potential for being used for good and evil ends.
“It might be 50 to 100 years to have this sort of hardware”, Walsh said. They know such weapons are only years (not even decades) of research away and fear that “the stakes are high”. If this technology was to be synchronized with video from surveillance cameras, the military would end up having quite a capable assassin.
Among the backers are some incredibly influential names; Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak all signed the open letter. ‘There are many ways in which AI can make battlefields safer for humans, especially civilians, without creating new tools for killing people.’. Many who support a ban on autonomous weapon systems have proposed the requirement of meaningful human control as one that ought to apply to all weapons, believing that this is a bar that autonomous weapons are unlikely to meet. “It’s not tomorrow”.
The signatories’ biggest concern is the start of a military artificial intelligence arms race. But China isn’t far behind, Selman said.
The now Google-owned lab claims they’ve taken careful steps to assure their artificial intelligence technology won’t be abused.
“The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI (artificial intelligence) arms race or to prevent it from starting”, they wrote. But artificial-intelligence projects are being pursued to provide the U.S. military with “increasingly intelligent assistance”, according to an information paper on the agency’s website.