Donderdag 22/07/2021

Open brief

Letterlijk: Belgische wetenschappers roepen in open brief op tot verbod op 'killer robots'

Archiefbeeld. Beeld BELGAIMAGE
Archiefbeeld.Beeld BELGAIMAGE

Aan de vooravond van een parlementaire hoorzitting roepen 116 Belgische wetenschappers, waaronder 88 wetenschappers in robotica en artificiële intelligentie (AI), de Belgische regering op om een nationaal verbod in te stellen op “killer robots”. De wetenschappers roepen België ook op om zich aan te sluiten bij de groeiende internationale beweging die killer robots wil verbieden.

Dit is de integrale open brief:

As members of the Belgian artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research community, we express our deep concern about the development of fully autonomous weapon systems, which lack meaningful human control over the critical functions of targeting and engagement in every attack.

We join similar efforts by international colleagues and CEOs in August 2017 and July 2015, and by researchers in Australia and Canada in November 2017. Fully autonomous weapon systems threaten to become a third revolution in warfare. The development and use of such systems pose serious threats to international law, as well as to human rights and human dignity. Once developed, these weapon systems will lower the threshold to become involved in armed conflict, while allowing armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever. The development of these systems will likely cause expensive arms races and lead to regional and global insecurity. Autonomous weapons are likely to proliferate rapidly, and could initiate or escalate conflicts without human deliberation. Moreover, the development of such weapon systems raises significant accountability questions, as it is unclear who could be held accountable for any misbehaviour of such weapon systems.

Urgent action to address these concerns and prevent proliferation is needed. Once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be very hard to close. We therefore call upon the Belgian government and parliament to join international efforts to preventively prohibit such weapon systems, and to resolve as a nation never to develop, acquire or deploy such weapon systems.

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