A California lawmaker introduced a resolution Tuesday to ban the use of autonomous weapons.
According to KPIX 5, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is looking to press Congress and the United Nations to restrict the development of “killer robots.”
On Tuesday, Canepa introduced a resolution to ban, in his own words, “autonomous weapons, AKA, killer robots.” If the resolution is adopted, San Mateo County would be the first in the United States to urge Congress and the United Nations to restrict weaponized robotic technology.
“As policy makers, for us to catch up with technology we ourselves have to be out in front of it,” Canepa said. “So that’s why we’re working on this issue.”
Canepa’s decision came after watching a video depicting the dangers of autonomous weaponry produced by UC Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell. The video, backed by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur Elon Musk, was presented at a United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva.
Entitled “Slaugherbots,” the video has garnered over 2 million views since being published on YouTube in early November.
Dr. Todd Davies, Symbolic Systems Program Associate Director at Stanford University, told KPIX 5 that he assisted Canepa in crafting the resolution.
“Now is the time to act before we feel the threat is present,” Davies said. “None of us will be safe even in our homes if autonomous weapons are allowed to proliferate.”
More than 100 artificial intelligence (AI) experts signed an open letter last August calling on the United Nations to prevent the development of autonomous “weapons of terror.”
Musk, who signed the letter, has repeatedly warned of the potential dangers posed by the burgeoning technology, calling uncontrolled AI “a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization” earlier this year.