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The Next Fear on A.I.: Hollywood's Killer Robots Become the Military's Tools

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The Pentagon.

“If we stop, guess who’s not going to stop: potential adversaries overseas,” the Pentagon’s chief information officer, John Sherman, said on Wednesday. “We’ve got to keep moving.”

Credit: Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

When President Biden announced sharp restrictions in October on selling the most advanced computer chips to China, he sold it in part as a way of giving American industry a chance to restore its competitiveness.

But at the Pentagon and the National Security Council, there was a second agenda: arms control.

If the Chinese military cannot get the chips, the theory goes, it may slow its effort to develop weapons driven by artificial intelligence. That would give the White House, and the world, time to figure out some rules for the use of artificial intelligence in sensors, missiles and cyberweapons, and ultimately to guard against some of the nightmares conjured by Hollywood — autonomous killer robots and computers that lock out their human creators.

Now, the fog of fear surrounding the popular ChatGPT chatbot and other generative A.I. software has made the limiting of chips to Beijing look like just a temporary fix. When Mr. Biden dropped by a meeting in the White House on Thursday of technology executives who are struggling with limiting the risks of the technology, his first comment was "what you are doing has enormous potential and enormous danger."

From The New York Times
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