Earlier this month, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was released in theaters across the United States, featuring Marvel comics superheroes battling evil robots powered by artificial intelligence and hellbent on destroying humanity.
Sentient military machines still remain in the realm of science fiction, but some autonomous weapons are already technically possible today. And the role of autonomy in military systems is likely to grow as armies take advantage of the same basic technology used in self-driving cars and household robots. Autonomous weapons are not the same as drones. A drone is remotely piloted by a person, who makes the decision to fire its weapons. In contrast, an autonomous weapon is one that, once activated, can select and engage targets on its own.
Read the full op-ed in The New York Times.
More from CNAS
PodcastFire and Ice
In this week’s edition of the SpyTalk podcast, Jeff Stein goes deep on the CIA’s looming eviction from Afghanistan with Lisa Curtis, a longtime former CIA, State Department an...
By Lisa Curtis, Jeff Stein, Jeanne Meserve & Alma Katsu
ReportsPrinciples for the Combat Employment of Weapon Systems with Autonomous Functionalities
These seven new principles concentrate on the responsible use of autonomous functionalities in armed conflict in ways that preserve human judgment and responsibility over the ...
By Robert O. Work
PodcastAre ‘killer robots’ the future of warfare?
Paul Scharre joins host Suzanna Kianpour to discuss the technology, fears and even potential advantages of developing autonomous weapons. Listen to the full conversation from...
By Paul Scharre
CommentaryThe Militarization of Artificial Intelligence
Militaries are racing to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) with the aim of gaining military advantage over competitors. And yet, there is little understanding of AI’s long-te...
By Paul Scharre