Robohub.org
 

Icelandic research institute unveils ethical robotics policy

by
16 September 2015



share this:

IIIM2The Icelandic Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIIM) has become the first R&D centre in the world to adopt a policy that repudiates development of robotic technologies intended for military operations.

The IIIM’s new ethics policy has been unanimously agreed by its staff and Board of Directors and came into force at the end of last month. It aims for the peaceful use of artificial intelligence and draws a firm line against collaboration with any organisation “even partially funded by military means within the last five years.”

“It is only fitting that a research centre in Iceland should field such a policy – a nation without a standing army and virtually no history of war in its 1100 years”, said Kristinn R. Thórisson, IIIM’s Managing Director.

“Like any other technology, AI can be abused at everyone’s expense, escalating the dangers associated with tensions between groups, governments, and nations. Researchers stand at the threshold of new technology; they should actively participate by preventing the abuse of knowledge they produce. This is, in essence, what we are doing with our new policy.”

It’s clear that the non-profit IIIM has launched its policy not only to publicise its anti-military stance, but also to mobilise other researchers and R&D centres to take similar action.

At least 87 countries are now known to use military robotics of some sort and the IIIM’s Ethics Policy joins a growing opposition to what is seen by many as an inevitable development.

Many experts and various pressure groups, including the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, adamantly and publicly oppose autonomous weapons.

Last May, a meeting was organised at the UN to assess the ethical and sociological questions that arise from their development and deployment, as well as the adequacy and challenges to international law.

In July, the Future of Life Institute released an open document calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak were among the prominent names on the list of those opposed.

There are, as yet, no agreements or even proposals to ban autonomous weapons, but discussions in the UN are ongoing.

Whether or not others will follow the IIIM’s lead remains to be seen but the institute has undoubtedly made a brave decision in rejecting the billions of dollars of contracts thrown at the military weapons industries.

The moral, ethical and legal arguments against weapons that can make decisions about who to kill will rubble on. But the exponential pace of change in robotics and AI calls for safeguards and controls to be put in place before the technology reaches fruition, so IIIM’s decision is surely a step in the right direction.

For more information about the IIIM visit http://iiim.is or email info@iiim.is.


If you liked this post, you may also be interested in:



tags: , , , , ,


Adriana Hamacher Associate Editor at Robohub and the UK's Knowledge Transfer Network and a contributor to Economist Insights
Adriana Hamacher Associate Editor at Robohub and the UK's Knowledge Transfer Network and a contributor to Economist Insights





Related posts :



ep.

340

podcast

NVIDIA and ROS Teaming Up To Accelerate Robotics Development, with Amit Goel

Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, discusses the new collaboration between Open Robotics and NVIDIA. The collaboration will dramatically improve the way ROS and NVIDIA's line of products such as Isaac SIM and the Jetson line of embedded boards operate together.
23 October 2021, by

One giant leap for the mini cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time.
23 October 2021, by

Robotics Today latest talks – Raia Hadsell (DeepMind), Koushil Sreenath (UC Berkeley) and Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Robotics Today held three more online talks since we published the one from Amanda Prorok (Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems). In this post we bring you the last talks that Robotics Today...
21 October 2021, by and

Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association