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Are ‘Killer Robots’ on the Way?

Popular Science reports: “In August, Stewart Russell, a computer scientist at University of California at Berkeley, authored an open letter calling for the ban of ‘lethal autonomous weapons.’ To those outside the military-industrial complex, this could seem a bit premature, sort of like calling for a ban on Star Trek phasers or the Death Star. Reality says otherwise.”  

“‘Humans have a venerable tradition of automating warfare. Land mines are a kind of robot, though a very dumb one. Heat-seeking missiles are smarter, albeit not by a lot. “There’s a continuum,’ Russell says, and we’re further along it than we realize. ‘If you wanted to produce something very effective, pretty reliable, and if it became a military priority—in 18 months you could mass-produce some kind of intelligent weapon.’”

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