The International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence is being staged in Melbourne this week. This is the main international gathering of researchers in AI. Held biennially in odd-numbered years since 1969, IJCAI is sponsored jointly by IJCAI and the national AI societie(s) of the host nation(s).

The theme of this Year’s conference is Autonomy and AI and is intended to encourage debate and analysis of the limits and safeguards that must be established when giving AI systems more autonomy. Such limits and safe- guards must be established for AI systems to progress in way that supports a just and prosperous society. This topic will be central on some invited talks, panels, sessions.

An open letter signed by 116 founders of companies from 26 different countries warns that the development of lethal autonomous weapons, which can kill without direct human control, is proceeding at pace and that moves to ban them – in a similar way to chemical weapons – are moving too slowly.

A key organiser of the letter, Toby Walsh, Scientia​ Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of NSW in Sydney, will release it at a gathering of world leading artificial intelligence (AI) experts in Melbourne on Monday.

CEOs from the rapidly advancing robotics and automation industry including Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk have joined a University of NSW professor in calling on the UN to ban artificial intelligence-driven ‘killer robot’ autonomous weapons, before it is too late. [Source: AFR]


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