If you ever feared science fiction films Avengers: Age of Ultron might one day become a reality, you can safely postpone your fears.
A number of major firms that are currently developing AI technology have signed a document swearing not to build autonomous weapons.
The Future of Life institute, an outreach group that tackles existential risks, organised the pledge which was signed by hundreds of organisations and thousands of technology experts. Among those are some big names like Elon Musk, Demis Hassabis (Google DeepMind project) or Jeff Dean (Chocolate Factory's AI lab).
“We will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons,” the pledge says. “Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons have characteristics quite different from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unilateral actions of a single group could too easily spark an arms race that the international community lacks the technical tools and global governance systems to manage,” it said.
Many of the world's greatest tech thinkers have spoken out against AI, saying it might be devastating for the human race. Elon Musk has once called it “summoning the demon”, while the late professor Stephen Hawking was saying: "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
The Future of Life Institute was co-founded by a group of researchers, including Max Tegmark, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Viktoriya Krakovna, a scientist at DeepMind, and Jann Tallinn, co-founder of Skype.
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