“Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge”, announced India’s disarmament ambassador Amandeep Gill, who chaired a meeting at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons to discuss the development of autonomous weapon systems.
In response to growing concerns about autonomous weapons, able to identify and eliminate targets without human control, a coalition of AI researchers and advocacy organizations released a fictitious video that depicts a disturbing future in which lethal autonomous weapons have become cheap and ubiquitous.
Although regular readers of this website know that drones can benefit humanity, we must steer away from nightmare scenarios featuring autonomous killer drones linked to social media data. The video, titled Slaughterbots, was presented by UC Berkeley professor Stuart Russell as part of a campaign to stop killer robots. With a brief appearance at the end of the video, Russell warns the viewers that the technology described in the film already exists, that time is running out and a ban on autonomous weapons is urgently needed.