Experts have warned that the world must act quickly to avoid a Terminator-esque future in which robots with artificial intelligence roam the battlefields killing humans.
At an elite gathering in the Swiss Alps, a meeting of billionaire investors, scientists and political leaders have agreed that rules must be developed quickly to prevent the development of the weapons.
According to the Japan Times, Angela Kane, the German UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs from 2012-2015 it may already be too late:
There are many countries and many representatives in the international community that really do not understand what is involved.
This development is something that is limited to a certain number of advanced countries.
Scientists say the deployment of these ‘autonomous weapons’ would represent a dangerous new era in warfare and a real threat to humanity.
Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at University of California, Berkeley told the forum in Davos:
We are talking about autonomous weapons, which means that there is no one behind it. AI: artificial intelligence weapons.
Very precisely, weapons that can locate and attack targets without human intervention.
Around a thousand science and technology chiefs including Stephen Hawking, said in an open letter last July that the development of these weapons could be feasible within years.
They called for a ban warning that the world risked becoming embroiled in an artificial intelligence arms race and suggested the weapons could fall into the hands of violent extremists.
There are also questions about whether the machines would be able to follow the rules of war and if they could tell the difference between civilians and soldiers.
Alan Winfield, professor of electronic engineering at the University of the West of England, warned that the robots may be hard to predict: “When you put a robot in a chaotic environment, it behaves chaotically,” he said.
Roger Carr, chairman of the British aerospace and defence group BAE, said:
If you remove ethics, judgement and morality from human endeavour you will take humanity to another level which is beyond our comprehension.
Oh no. Sky Net is happening.