Austria calls for action to regulate ‘killer robots’ as A.I. advances

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In a push to address the growing concerns over autonomous weapons systems, Austria has called for renewed efforts to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in weapons systems, commonly referred to as ‘killer robots’. The call came during a conference hosted by Austria, aimed at reinvigorating discussions on the ethical and legal challenges posed by these advanced weapons.

With AI technology progressing rapidly, the prospect of weapons systems that could make life-or-death decisions without human intervention is becoming increasingly real. This raises pressing questions about the need for international rules and norms to ensure human control over such systems.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “We cannot let this moment pass without taking action. Now is the time to agree on international rules and norms to ensure human control.” He stressed the importance of ensuring that decisions about who lives and who dies remain in the hands of humans, not machines.

Despite years of discussions at the United Nations, progress has been limited, prompting concerns that time is running out for meaningful action. Participants at the conference, which included non-governmental organizations, international bodies, and representatives from 143 countries, emphasized the need for swift action.

Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, highlighted the moral implications of delegating control over violence to machines and algorithms. She warned against accelerating moral failures in the face of the international community.

The use of AI in warfare is already a reality, with drones in Ukraine reportedly capable of finding their targets even when disconnected from their operators. Recent reports also suggest that the Israeli military has been using AI to identify bombing targets in Gaza.

As the international community grapples with the implications of AI in weapons systems, the call for action from Austria underscores the need for a concerted effort to establish clear regulations to ensure that human control is maintained over these potentially lethal technologies.

(Source: Jerusalem Post | Slashdot | Reuters | MSN | Bloomberg)

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