OTTO Motors Founder Signs Open Letter to UN for Ban on Autonomous Weapons

"Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at time scales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.” – Open Letter

(Kitchener, ON, Canada – AUG 22, 2017) Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors are proud to announce that Ryan Gariepy, co-founder and CTO, was the first to sign the open letter directed to the UN on the international ban of lethal autonomous weapons.

Gariepy is one of 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries urging the United Nations to address the challenge of lethal autonomous weapons (aka killer robots) and ban their use internationally. Joining Gariepy on the letter are Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and OpenAI (USA), Mustafa Suleyman, founder and Head of Applied AI at Google’s DeepMind (UK), along with signatories that span the globe. The open letter was released at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) in Melbourne, Australia by Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of South Wales in Sydney on August 21, 2017.

The letter is the first official time that AI and robotics companies have taken a joint stance on the issue of autonomous weapons. Previously, Gariepy penned his own public letter in support of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

“In 2014, when I first penned my open letter on this issue, I spoke of the urgency for discussions surrounding these weapons,” said Gariepy. “Now, three years later, UN discussions are still being delayed. No longer am I and my fellow AI and robotics founders speaking of urgency but rather we’re asking for these discussions to be elevated to critical levels. They must be addressed and they must be addressed now.”

Gariepy, along with his fellow Clearpath and OTTO Motors co-founders, have dedicated themselves and their business to the pursuit of using advanced technology for good. “It was a very conscious and deliberate choice we made when we started Clearpath, and more recently OTTO Motors, to focus our technological capabilities on developing robots that seek to improve humanity rather than destroy it,” said Matt Rendall, CEO, Clearpath and OTTO Motors. “Artificial intelligence and robotics will have a profound impact on the world, and we all have a responsibility to define policy against lethal use of the technology.”


About OTTO Motors

OTTO Motors designs, manufactures and operates self-driving vehicles to automate material movement inside busy factories and warehouses. Using self-driving technology much like the Google Car, the easy-to-use OTTO vehicles move inventory in a safe and flexible manner throughout the indoor supply chain. Customers include Fortune 100 brands like General Electric, John Deere, and Toyota. For more information, visit

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