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KAIST to host forum in Seoul discussing AI ethics, policymaking

KAIST, South Korea’s leading science and technology research university, will host a forum in Seoul on Thursday to discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence technology development as well as policymaking around the world.

Titled “Taming Artificial Intelligence: Engineering, Ethics and Policy,” the forum will invite some of the world’s leading AI researchers, including those who recently made headlines for announcing a boycott of KAIST over its alleged contribution to developing autonomous “killer robots.”

The AI researchers called off their boycott after KAIST gave a public assurance that AI-based weapons would not be developed. The suspicions were raised when the university opened what they called a weapons lab in partnership with Hanwha Systems, one of Korea’s top makers of cluster munitions.


The Thursday forum will invite various AI experts from abroad, including Professor Toby Walsh from the University of New South Wales who will discuss the topic of “Lethal Autonomous Weapons: What Should an AI Researcher Do?”

Other AI tech professionals scheduled to speak include University of Tokyo’s Professor Arisa Ema, Ansgar Koene of the University of Nottingham and KAIST Professor Lee Soo-young.

“The destructive innovation of AI technology will bring not only economic opportunities but also social risks. And we must come up with a pre-emptive strategy to respond quickly to new shifts in technology and social paradigms,” KAIST President Shin Sung-chul said in a statement.

By Sohn Ji-young (