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Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and a host of other science and tech luminaries today added their names to a document from the Future of Life Institute called, "Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers." The text of the letter, presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, calls for stopping a weaponized AI arms race in its tracks before countries and companies are forced to compete with each other to build deadlier and deadlier autonomous weapons.

It’s hard to believe that the iPhone debuted only eight years ago. In less than a decade, we’ve somehow bounded from wide-eyed dazzle over “the future of technology” to a sort of mass ennui — yeah, we’re helplessly dependent on our apps, so what? Old news.

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