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Amazon, Microsoft Developing Killer AI That Puts The World At Risk, Says Study
Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel are three of the companies mentioned in a new report calling out companies for developing killer artificial intelligence.
It watched out for three criteria: development of technology relevant to deadly robot technology, work related to military projects, and whether or not they committed to abstaining from both in the future.
'Autonomous weapons will inevitably become scalable weapons of mass destruction, because if the human is not in the loop, then a single person can launch a million weapons or a hundred million weapons,' Stuart Russell of the University of California, Berkeley told AFP.
According to Common Dreams, human rights advocate Campaign to Stop Killer Robots are accusingthe United States for being one of the countries that push against a treaty that would ban lethal autonomous weapons systems by requiring 'meaningful human control over the use of force.'
Report: Companies like Amazon and Microsoft are ‘putting world at risk’ of killer AI
A survey of major players within the industry concludes that leading tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft are putting the world ‘at risk’ of killer AI.
Several high-profile employees resigned over the contract, while over 4,000 Google staff signed a petition demanding their management cease the project and never again “build warfare technology.” Following the Project Maven backlash, Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised in a blog post the company will not develop technologies or weapons that cause harm, or anything which can be used for surveillance violating “internationally accepted norms” or “widely accepted principles of international law and human rights”.
If we enable or offer AI solutions that are controversial because of their impact on human rights, privacy, employment, or other social issues, we may experience brand or reputational harm.” Some of Microsoft’s forays into the technology have already proven troublesome, such as chatbot ‘Tay’ which became a racist, sexist, generally-rather-unsavoury character after internet users took advantage of its machine-learning capabilities.
Microsoft, Amazon and other big tech companies are putting us at risk of a "killer AI,” study says
Tech companies are happy to tout their innovations and latest developments, but one organization is warning that not all advancements are good ones.
Dutch nonprofit PAX, an organization that advocates for peace, recently looked into how the tech sector is handling the development of artificial intelligence and its potential to become an automated destructive force that could turn on humanity.
PAX's research focused on answering three different questions: Is the company developing technology relevant to the potential development of lethal autonomous weapons, is the firm working on military projects that may enable deadly force, and has the company committed to not contributing to the development of autonomous weapons?
Microsoft has urged Congress to take steps to regulate facial recognition technology before it is put to use in overzealous and potentially harmful ways, so points for recognizing the risk even if the company is profiting off it anyway.
That's pretty broad, and since the government has a pretty powerful hand in deciding what exactly the law is, it can be read as Amazon offering its facial recognition project Rekognition up carte blanche to any agency that wants to use it.
It also hasn't been particularly dissuaded from profiting off the technology even though it's actually pretty terrible at identifying people and displays a clear bias when attempting to identify women and people of color.
Controversial AI company Palantir was listed as a potential contributor to autonomous killing machines for accepting a U.S. military contract to build and deploy an AI system designed to "help soldiers analyze a combat zone in real time."
While some companies are, in the eyes of PAX, brazenly pushing us closer to the brink of killer robots while lining their own pockets, there are plenty of voices within the tech community raising warning flags.
Others have started to delve into the ethics of AI and are working to develop best practices and guidelines that would ideally serve as guard rails for all future developments to make sure AI projects never go too far toward automating the act of killing.
Whether it's human-made AI that turns on us, human-related climate change that produces unlivable conditions, or human-made weapons of mass destruction that are unleashed on massive populations, it seems like one way or another we'll figure out a way to wipe ourselves out.
- On Thursday, February 20, 2020
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