Stopp Killer-Robots

CIWS (close-in weapons system), Bild: U.S. Navy/flickr, CC-BY 2.0
Phalanx CIWS (close-in weapons system), Bild: U.S. Navy/flickr, CC-BY 2.0

Mehr als 1000 Wissenschaftler fordern in einem offenen Brief ein Verbot von autonomen Waffensystemen – Maschinen die fähig sind, ohne menschliche Interaktion zu töten – um ein nahezu unvermeidbares globales Wettrüsten zu verhindern. Der Brief wurde während der International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Buenos Aires präsentiert. Unter den Unterzeichnern sind der Physiker Prof. Stephen Hawking, Tesla-Chef Elon Musk und Apple Co-Gründer Steve Wozniak.

Der Offene Brief im Wortlaut:

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers

Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. They might include, for example, armed quadcopters that can search for and eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria, but do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones for which humans make all targeting decisions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.

Many arguments have been made for and against autonomous weapons, for example that replacing human soldiers by machines is good by reducing casualties for the owner but bad by thereby lowering the threshold for going to battle. The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow. Unlike nuclear weapons, 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. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing to better control their populace, warlords wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, etc. Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity. There are many ways in which AI can make battlefields safer for humans, especially civilians, without creating new tools for killing people.

Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons — and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits. Indeed, chemists and biologists have broadly supported international agreements that have successfully prohibited chemical and biological weapons, just as most physicists supported the treaties banning space-based nuclear weapons and blinding laser weapons.

In summary, we believe that AI has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so. Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.

Die Befürworter von autonomen Waffen sagen, die Maschinen wären nützlich bei der Verringerung militärischer Opfer auf dem Schlachtfeld. Die Autoren des Briefes halten dem aber entgegen, dass damit die Hemmschwelle für bewaffnete Konflikte gesenkt würde – häufigere Schlachten und einen größeren Verlust in der Zivilbevölkerung riskierend.

Während vollständig autonome Waffen bisher nicht existieren – ihre Prototypen, wie das US-amerikanische Phalanx CIWS und der israelische „Iron Dome“, werden bereits eingesetzt.

via Future of Life Institute


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