Liberals urged to tackle killer robots at G7 as part of AI innovation push

The Trudeau government is facing pressure on several fronts to lead an international ban on the use of autonomous weapons, the so-called killer robots that could result from artificial intelligence run amok.

The calls come as Canada hosted a G7 meeting this week in which ministers from the world's richest economies pushed AI as the key to kick-starting growth and jobs of the future, a discussion that largely skirted the technology's darker implications.

The ministers concluded their two days of meetings in Montreal affirming their support for a common vision for AI, agreeing to hold a conference on the subject in Canada this fall to launch the G7 Future of Work Forum.

At the Montreal meeting, employment and innovation ministers looked at how governments can help companies take part in the digital economy.

Paul Hannon, the lead Canadian on the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, says the economic gains the G7 hopes to realize through AI will be undermined if the organization continues to ignore the threats posed by the creation of weapons that can decide on their own when to attack and who to kill.

Some of Canada's leading AI innovators and researchers are also calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons that have no meaningful human control.