LAWS: An Open Letter from AI & Robotics Experts

Posted on 29 July 2015 by Frank Sauer

Thousands of experts in artificial intelligence, robotics and related professions have signed an open letter, hosted by the Future of Life Institute, calling for a ban on autonomous weapons that select and engage targets without human intervention.

You can read more on the importance of this letter to the current global effort of banning lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) on the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots website.

ICRAC is committed to the peaceful uses of robotics and the regulation of robot weapons. We welcome this open letter, and numerous members of ICRAC have not only signed but also commented on this youngest development over the last couple of days in various media. Below is a selection of audio and video content in English, Italian and German language.

CNET – Ban autonomous weapons, urge AI experts including Hawking, Musk and Wozniak
(with ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey and Thomas Nash)
Release date: 27 Jul 2015

Huffpost Live – A.I. Experts Push For Military Robot Ban
(with ICRAC’s Heather Roff and Ian Kerr)
Hundreds of artificial intelligence experts and revered thinkers, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, are calling for a global ban on military robots. We explore the issue and whether these autonomous weapons could lower the threshold for war.
Release date: 28 Jul 2015

CTV – Will the growth of killer robots set off a global arms race?
(with ICRAC’s Ian Kerr)
In this 5 minute interview with Canada AM host, Beverly Thompson, Ian Kerr discusses the the difference between semi-autonomous and autonomous weapons, the call to ban killer robots, why he is a signatory to the open letter, and why efficacy is not the only consideration in deciding whether to ban a dangerous use of technology.
Release date: 04 Aug 2015

BBC World Service – Fighting off ‘Killer Robots’
(with ICRAC’s Heather Roff)
More than 1,000 tech experts, scientists and researchers have written a letter warning about the dangers of autonomous weapons, warning that a ‘military AI race is a bad idea’. One signatory, Heather Roff Perkins from the University of Denver spoke to the BBC’s Dominic Laurie.
Release date: 28 Jul 2015

Killer robots: the coming arms race?
(with ICRAC’s Peter Asaro)

Are you worried about killer robots? Last week, some of the most prominent thinkers in science and technology signed an open letter that warned of the coming arms race should militaries pursue the development and deployment of artificially intelligent weaponry. The letter was written by The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of NGOs, and was signed by almost 14,000 people, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak. Today, we discuss the threat of fully autonomous weapons and artificially-intelligent warfare with PETER ASARO, professor of media studies at The New School and spokesperson for The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, roboticist and Georgia Tech professor RONALD ARKIN, as well as GEORGE ZARKADAKIS, writer and AI architect.

Release date: 6 Aug 2015

Ban Killer Robots Interview – Calgary Newstalk 770
(with ICRAC’s Ian Kerr)
In this 25 minute interview with Roger Kinkade and Rob Breakenridge of Newstalk770, CHQR Radio, Ian Kerr talks at length about autonomous weapons and the AI community’s call to ban “killer robots”. The conversation is about what a killer robot is, why they are likely to be developed, what the dangers are if we don’t ban them and a number of broader issues regarding the future of artificial intelligence.
Release date: 8 Aug 2015


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