It’s unclear how much the Switchblades have been used in the conflict, but their presence underscore how the age of autonomous warfare has arrived, despite much of the debate over AI-controlled weapons framing them as still in the realm of science-fiction.
“These use cases are no longer theoretical and in the far distant future, there are things that are much more close to the here and now,” said Paul Scharre, a vice president at the Center for a New American Security who specializes in autonomous weapons.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon put out a revamped and expanded policy on autonomous weapons that further showed that the U.S. military is taking the tech seriously. Despite calls from weapons-control advocates for a ban on all autonomous weapons, the United States is charging ahead and believes it can develop and field machines that make their own decisions as long as those machines have been thoroughly reviewed and approved by senior commanders.
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