FILE PHOTO - Elon Musk speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington

INTERNATIONAL - Elon Musk, the chief executive of a number of prominent companies, such as the US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and electric car producer Tesla Motors, along with 115 other business people focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics, has signed an open letter calling for a ban on the so-called killer robots.

In December 2016, more than 120 parties to the International Convention on Conventional Weapons supported an initiative to establish a group of experts to consider the issues related to the lethal autonomous robots in 2017.

“We warmly welcome the decision of the UN’s conference of the convention on certain conventional weapons to establish a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on lethal autonomous weapon systems We entreat the high contracting parties participating in the GGE to work hard at finding means to prevent an arms race in these weapons, to protect civilians from their misuse, and to avoid the destabilising effects of these technologies,” the signed letter said.

According to the letter, the business people welcome the move to establish the group of experts, offer to support its activities with the sufficient capabilities and call on it to find a way to protect humanity from potential dangers of such robotic systems.

They warned that killer robots could become “weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations” and it would be rather hard to close such a Pandora’s box.