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Why Ai Weapons Should Be Banned

Essay by   •  February 11, 2018  •  Essay  •  374 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,003 Views

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The twentieth-first century has seen the rise of technology to new heights. Specifically, regarding Artificial Intelligence, the improvements have been profound. The world has only recently started adapting this new technology and now we are posed with a question; should we push for an international treaty that bans autonomous AI weapons? The consensus amongst AI researchers is a resounding yes. Efforts should be made by world powers to stop a military AI arms race.

Firstly, we need to address the potential that autonomous weapons have. The scariest thing about AI technology in conjunction with military weapons is the seamlessly unlimited possibilities that it offers. In most cases, unlimited possibilities sounds like a good thing. However, when the context is aligned with weapons of destruction it’s quite the opposite. For example, an autonomous quadcopter could be mass produced cheaply with the ability to hunt down specific targets using facial recognition. Some argue that AI weapons would be beneficial because then the weapons would be fighting instead of humans. This is a statement that lacks insight. MIT Professor Max Tegmark states,” Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group.” Unfortunately, these weapons could easily be manufactured by all nations. With mass production, they will sooner or later make their way into the black market.

The threat of AI weapons has been established but what exactly should we ban? Should just Lethal autonomous weapons be banned or also the kind that injures people? Should this ban apply to all autonomous systems including defense ones? Ultimately, offensive autonomous weapons are what needs to be banned. Debaters have argued that an international treaty would be extremely hard and therefore we shouldn’t try. Many forget the bans on biological and chemical weapons. Enforcement proved difficult but ultimately worth it. National powers have much more to lose than to gain. As other nations get their hands on these weapons they will pose a threat to national powers.

In conclusion, offensive AI weapons are a huge threat that world powers need to ban. With unlimited possibilities, these weapons pose a threat to all nations. Efforts now can stop an arms race that will likely produce lamentable consequences.



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