Who Will Command The Robot Armies?

The obvious question as these systems improve is whether there will ever be a moment when machines are allowed to decide to kill people without human intervention.

.. The Space Shuttle was an almost entirely automated spacecraft. The only thing on it that was not automated was button that dropped the landing gear. The system was engineered that way on purpose, so that the Shuttle had to have a crew.

.. When the Russians built their shuttle clone, they removed this human point of control. The only flight the Buran ever made was done on autopilot, with no people aboard.

.. I think we’ll see a similar evolution in autonomous weapons. They will evolve to a point to where they are fully capable of finding and killing their targets, but the designers will keep a single point of control.

And then someone will remove that point of control.

.. In the United States, we’ve just entered the sixteenth year of a state of emergency. It has been renewed annually since 2001.

It has become common political rhetoric in America to say that ‘we’re at war’, even though being ‘at war’ means something vastly different for Americans than, say, Syrians.