An open letter signed by Musk, Google Deepmind's Mustafa Suleyman, and 114 other AI and robotics specialists urges the UN to prevent "the third revolution in warfare" by banning the development of all lethal autonomous weapon systems.
The open letter, released to coincide with the world's largest conference on AI – IJCAI 2017, which is taking place in Melbourne, Australia this week – warns of a near future where independent machines will be able to choose and engage their own targets, including innocent humans in addition to enemy combatants.
"Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend," the consortium writes.
"These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways."
It's not the first time Musk and those of his world view have united to draw attention to the threat autonomous weapons pose to humanity.