Tech & Science Experts boycott South Korean university over 'killer robots' dispute

01:40  10 april  2018
01:40  10 april  2018 Source:   MSN

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Artificial intelligence researchers from nearly 30 countries are boycotting a South Korean university over concerns a new lab in partnership with a leading defence company could lead to “ killer robots ”.

Leading AI experts have boycotted a South Korean university over a partnership with weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems. The boycott comes ahead of a UN meeting to discuss killer robots .

  Experts boycott South Korean university over 'killer robots' dispute © Provided by Independent Print Limited It's safe to say that artificial intelligence isn't having the greatest of times at the moment.

Earlier this week Elon Musk warned that AI could become an "immortal dictator" while a supercomputer has recently started composing it's own incredibly creepy poetry.

Now experts in AI are also becoming sceptical about its use as a group of experts have chosen to boycott a university in South Korea who has gone into partnership with a weapons manufacturer.

The Korea Advanced Institue of Science and Technology (KAIST) has received a letter of concern signed by more than 50 AI experts after announcing that they would be opening a joint research centre with Hanwha Systems.

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Leading AI experts have boycotted a South Korean university over a partnership with weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems. The boycott comes ahead of a UN meeting to discuss killer robots .

Leading AI experts have boycotted a South Korean university over a partnership with weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems. The boycott comes ahead of a UN meeting to discuss killer robots .

Hanwa has already developed robotic sentry guns that patrol the border between South and North Korea and, according to The Verge, have built cluster munitions banned by many major nations.

The defence company want to "develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to be applied to military weapons" that could operate without human control, according to The Korean Times

Yeah, this doesn't sound like The Terminator movies at all...does it?

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READ NEXT: Will killer robots make us safer? Speaking to The Guardian, Toby Walsh, the organiser of the boycott and a professor at the University of New South Wales, says that autonomous weapons “would make the security situation on the Korean peninsula worse, not better”.

Over 50 AI researchers from 30 countries have agreed to boycott the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology over concerns with its weapons research. Professor Noel Sharkey, head of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots , says that after receiving the university ’s response, “the

The opposition to the university, which is renowned for its research in robotics, was organised by Professor Toby Walsh of the University of New South Wales.

Experts from 30 countries also added their signature to Walsh's boycott, who said in a press statement:

We can see prototypes of autonomous weapons under development today by many nations including the US, China, Russia, and the UK.

We are locked into an arms race that no one wants to happen. KAIST’s actions will only accelerate this arms race. We cannot tolerate this.

In an attempt to reassure us that Judgement Day isn't just around the corner, KAIST president Shin Sung-chul said that the new facility would not be developing any weapons.

The BBC quotes him as saying:

I reaffirm once again that Kaist will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control.

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Dozens of AI specialists from across the globe have called for a boycott against Korea Advanced International scientists have expressed concern that the major South Korean university 's lab Center for the Convergence of National Defense and Artificial Intelligence could lead to " killer robots ".

The Korea superior Institute of Science and know-how (KAIST) and its companion, the weapons manufacturer Hanwha systems, one in every of South Korea ’s biggest arms dealers, are pushing back towards the boycott , asserting they don’t have any intention of constructing “ killer robots ”

Kaist is significantly aware of ethical concerns in the application of all technologies including artificial intelligence.

In addition, he explained that the university would be focused on developing algorithms for "efficient logistical systems, unmanned navigation and aviation training systems."

Even if KAIST are true to their word and aren't developing AI weapons, the UN is still planning to address the subject in Geneva next week.

123 member nations will discuss the dangers posed by killer robots and lethal autonomous weapons. Countries like Argentina, Pakistan and Egypt have already backed a ban.

Walsh feels that the problem should be dealt with soon before it becomes irreversible:

If developed, autonomous weapons will [...] permit war to be fought faster and at a scale greater than ever before.

This Pandora’s box will be hard to close if it is opened.


Will Kim Jong Un Give Up North Korea's Nukes? History Says No .
If U.S. President Donald Trump presses Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear arsenal when they meet, he’ll be asking the North Korean leader to surrender more than a half century’s labor. North Korea has as many as 60 nuclear weapons, an achievement spanning three generations of Kims. They’ve repeatedly chosen the bomb as the best guarantee of survival despite decades of negotiations, international sanctions and threats of war.Nuclear weapons have also become central to the regime’s identity -- and its propaganda efforts.

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