Military robots not the world’s biggest worry

One of my daughters once proposed that my T-shirt should read: “I don’t support war, but war supports me.” And it’s true. So you might assume that I would leap into action when I learned that almost 3,000 “researchers, experts and entrepreneurs” have signed an open letter calling for a ban on developing artificial intelligence (AI) for “lethal autonomous weapons systems” (LAWS), or military robots for short. Instead, I yawned. The people who signed the letter included celebrities of the science and high-tech worlds like Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and Noam Chomsky. They presented their letter in late July to the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, meeting in Buenos Aires. They were quite clear about what worried them: “The…

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