Whether or not to preemptively ban killer robots will be a debate point at a United Nations meeting next week. And yes, “killer robots” sounds like a sci-fi cliche. But this is the reality of the future of warfare, and this debate is unlikely to do much other than highlight how sinister military tech may become.
We all agree that programming robots to kill humans at their own discretion is a bad idea — but this scenario is a lot closer than most of us realize. A new FAQ from Human Rights Watch summarizes how close we are to autonomous killing machines, and how important it is to ban them now.