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Killer Robots: Australia's AI Leaders ­rge Pm to Support a Ban on Lethal Autonomous Weapons


A weapon-bearing armored unmanned ground vehicle.

Scientists in Australia and Canada have sent letters to their respective prime ministers asking them to support a ban on lethal autonomous weapons.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

University of New South Wales professor Toby Walsh has organized a letter from 122 members of the Australian artificial intelligence (AI) research community to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, urging support for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons at a upcoming United Nations conference.

"Australia should also commit to working with other states to conclude a new international agreement that achieves this objective," the letter says.

The letter was issued at the same time as one signed by many Canadian AI experts calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to support such a prohibition.

Both letters follow a call to the UN by more than 100 founders of robotics and AI firms warning against weaponized AI.

Walsh notes although AI "can be used for immense good," there is a sinister side to the technology, "especially if we let machines decide who lives and who dies. I very much hope we make the right choice here."

From UNSW Newsroom
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