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'Killer robots': AI experts call for boycott over lab at South Korea university

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Could something like a T-800 one day become a reality ?

A university in South Korea is allegedly working with a defence company to build autonomous killing machines.

So far, more than 50 leading academics from 30 countries have signed an open letter calling for a boycott of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) because it is reportedly working with defence manufacturer Hanwha Systems to develop autonomous weapons.

"There are plenty of great things you can do with AI that save lives, including in a military context, but to openly declare the goal is to develop autonomous weapons and have a partner like this sparks huge concern," said boycott organizer Toby Walsh from the University of New South Wales.

"This is a very respected university partnering with a very ethically dubious partner that continues to violate international norms."

The move comes just days before a UN meeting in Geneva on the subject of autonomous weapons with more than 20 countries already calling for a complete ban on all such systems.

KAIST president Sung-Chul Shin however remains adamant that the group's fears are unfounded.

"I would like to reaffirm that KAIST does not have any intention to engage in development of lethal autonomous weapons systems and killer robots," he said.

"As an academic institution, we value human rights and ethical standards to a very high degree."

Full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/05/killer-robots-south-korea-university-boycott-artifical-intelligence-hanwha

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