AI Researcher Warns Skynet Killer-Robots "Easier To Achieve Than Self-Driving Cars"

Tyler Durden's picture

A group of the world’s leading AI researchers and humanitarian organizations are warning about lethal autonomous weapons systems, or killer robots, that select and kill targets without human control.

The group alleges killer robots now exist and the bulk of these technological developments are military funded in UK, China, Israel, Russia, and the United States. Although, fully autonomous weapons systems have not yet been deployed on the battlefield, the action by the group to ban lethal autonomous weapons is a preemptive ban before the technology falls into the wrong hands. The group calls on the citizens of the world to contact their representatives and for countries to work together to form international treaties, before it’s too late.

Member List of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots:

  • Human Rights Watch
  • Article 36
  • International Committee for Robot Arms Control
  • PAX
  • Association for Aid and Relief Japan:
  • Mines Action Canada
  • Nobel Women’s Initiative
  • Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs
  • Seguridad Humana en América Latina y el Caribe (SEHLAC)
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Future of Life Institute released a video yesterday titled: Slaughterbots.

The video portrays not to far in the distant future of a military firm unveiling a drone with shaped explosives that can target and kill humans on its own. Further in, the video abruptly changes pace, when bad guys get ahold of the technology and unleash swarms of killer robots onto the streets of Washington, D.C. and various academic institutions.

The video is aggressive and graphic but outlines if the technology was misused it could have severe consequences - such as civilian mass causality events.

Stuart Russell, a world leading AI researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, showed the video above to the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons on Monday. He said, “the technology illustrated in the film is simply an integration of existing capabilities. It is not science fiction. In fact, it is easier to achieve than self-driving cars, which require far higher standards of performance.”

Russell wants a preemptive ban on the technology before it’s too late. He claims the window to halt such technologies is closing and warns that autonomous weapons, such as drones, tanks and automated machine guns are imminent.

The Guardian adds,

The military has been one of the largest funders and adopters of artificial intelligence technology.


The computing techniques help robots fly, navigate terrain, and patrol territories under the seas. Hooked up to a camera feed, image recognition algorithms can scan video footage for targets better than a human can.


An automated sentry that guards South Korea’s border with the North draws on the technology to spot and track targets up to 4km away.  

The International Committee for Robot Arms Control is calling upon the international community for a treaty against autonomous weapon systems.

Given the rapid pace of development of military robotics and the pressing dangers that these pose to peace and international security and to civilians in conflict, we call upon the international community for a legally binding treaty to prohibit the development, testing, production and use of autonomous weapon systems in all circumstances.  

Human Rights Watch is another organization calling for the preventive measures to stop the machines…

 The development of fully autonomous weapons—“killer robots”—that could select and engage targets without human intervention need to be stopped to prevent a future of warfare and policing outside of human control and responsibility.


Human Rights Watch investigates these and other problematic weapons systems and works to develop and monitor international standards to protect civilians from armed violence.  

Conclusion: The evolution of targeted killing practices have certainly evolved to something on the lines of the Terminator, a fantasy/science movie where Skynet an artificial intelligence system gained self- awareness, and decided to wage a war on humans. Will Stuart Russell and his team of AI researches be able to stop the trend in autonomous weapon systems before it’s too late?

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rccalhoun's picture

its far too late to put the lid on this

NoDebt's picture

Couldn't agree more, rc.  Until the bodies pile up en masse somewhere nobody is going to lift a finger to stop or even consider the implications of this.


Dr. Engali's picture

Bodies? What bodies? The Walking Dead is on. I can’t be bothered with this trivial bull shit.

NoDebt's picture

Walking Dead is Sunday night, Doc.  You can't distract me on this one.  I can't be bargained with.  I don't feel pain or pity or remorse.  And I absolutely will not stop until.... wait............ what the fuck was I talking about?


Billy the Poet's picture

". . . Mechanical Hound never fails. Never since its first use in tracking quarry has this incredible invention made a mistake. Tonight, this network is proud to have the opportunity to follow the Hound by camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the target..."

Overfed's picture

Somehow, I have  a hard time thinking that killer robots on the streets of DC would be a bad thing.

NoDebt's picture

Thank you.  Yes.  End the Fed.  Fuckin' A.



J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock's picture

Terminator 3 was not a science fiction film.

More like an instructional or documentary production.

Robby the Robot is not our future friend.


J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock

Throat-warbler Mangrove's picture

"Than self-driving cars"

NoDebt's picture

Nobody gets that.  I did.  Green arrow.


ThePhantom's picture

sorry no can do ...dumb fuckers go back to your TV's

IronForge's picture

There are already  Crash and Carbeque Models out with allegedly half baked systems -  all Lithium.Battery-Torch Driven, I hear...


Nomad Trader's picture

Killer robots that drive cars? Yikes!

Dragon HAwk's picture

Even the Bible talks about Mec Warriors

skinwalker's picture

I believe you but which verse?

I find this quite interdasting.

Billy the Poet's picture

Must be from The Book of Armaments. Maybe in  the part Brother Maynard skipped over.

Throat-warbler Mangrove's picture

... And the fruit bats and breakfast cereals ...

JuliaS's picture

You're confusing Mec with Mecca.

Juggernaut x2's picture

Isn't this just a matter of duct-taping a Glock 19 to a drone? 

DEMIZEN's picture

you could do lug wrench shaped rpg barrels with 4 fans. two hits. maybe even go hexa for 3 hits. these little 1k dollar wasp drones could saturate very expensive offensive weapons and confuse the fuck out of flares. 


war was never a paradise, but least this one looks like it will be over fast for most of us. id rather be killed by a robot than by some really sick sadistic fuck.

DEMIZEN's picture

the scary part is not the fact that they can. with given power supply to arms, system could probably pick targets so fast that muzzle velocity and barrel heat dissipation would be the limiting factors. day or night. probably even faster at night, due to temp difference. fuck it could even go bayesian  and pick target order to minimize servo movements.


Frito's picture

Not only will it do that, it will also use predictive algorithms to fire not where the target is, but where it is most likely to be by the time the bullet gets there, covering multiple possible escape routes.

I.E. if it targets you, you're fucked.

Billy the Poet's picture

Now I see the wisdom in having a Ministry of Silly Walks.

Implied Violins's picture

I also recommend developing a Ministry of Silly Ducks, sans the fowl. Dead parrots, and all that.

DEMIZEN's picture

and when you lie on the ground 5min later, it will know whether you are dead or wounded. you will receive a correction shot, if necessary.

DEMIZEN's picture

that is what bayesian prediction does. it can also provide spatially optimized cover fire to force movements into designated strata, neutralize bullet traps etc.

RationalLuddite's picture

"fuck it could even go bayesian  and pick target order to minimize servo movement"


I am sooooo using thst in 3 sentences this week :)

DEMIZEN's picture

i mean it.  air/sea/nukes cetebus paribus, it becomes a robo trenchfare, offense dept main problem : electric power mobility and logistics for armor and mobile platforms. project tactical (electric) power => new army 

when you run your cost/benefit analysis on spoils and warfare costs, youll will decide to stay at home. nukes are probably the best things that happened to modern peace. modern autoguns will double down on it.

N0TME's picture

.... and this is why I'm not on social media.

HRClinton's picture

Re... AI Researcher Warns Skynet Killer-Robots "Easier To Achieve That Self-Driving Cars"

Looks like TD is getting as bad as me with spell-checking the damn auto-spell tool.

I'm pretty sure it's...

AI Researcher Warns Skynet Killer-Robots "Easier To Achieve Than Self-Driving Cars"
Nobodys Home's picture

You're such an old spasmodic cackling anal spelling bitch Hillary!

dietrolldietroll's picture

Haha okay. You put a machine gun on a Roomba and see what I do to it.

Nobodys Home's picture

Honey? All I asked was that you vacuum the living room!

Neochrome's picture


Simple phone app, monitoring for movement and firing a sniper rifle from a hidden location. You don't need an AI to spread terror, if anything AI can help shoot down those drones with laser enforced no-drone-zone.

Nobodys Home's picture

Treaties? Really?

Whodathunk that any world power would ..Just Say No!

Juggernaut x2's picture

Israel won't sign onto the NPT and they'll sign onto this?

Nobodys Home's picture

Nukes are much less personal. Israel doesn't allow robot immigration.

slipreedip's picture

Im sure a petition will do the trick.

Then those naughty governments wouldnt dare to work on these things.

DEMIZEN's picture

yeah i signed the petition to release cankles records. the bitch is still at large.

Nobodys Home's picture

She made a record? Probably Patsy Kline cover tunes.

DEMIZEN's picture

its called foia record request.

DEMIZEN's picture

dude? just right click your HUI and select look up from the menu.

Bloody Fkn Muppet's picture

Typo in the headline;

<--- Didn't see it, read the article

<---Saw it, DRTFA

Nobodys Home's picture

WTF? This is the internet! Wee don't need no steenking spelling checkers!

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

"unleash swarms of killer robots onto the streets of Washington, D.C. and various academic institutions" is actually not a bad idea.  Maybe we should let them work on these just a little bit longer.

Nobodys Home's picture

KenyanMusloCommie sensors click.'s picture

Low tech, indiscriminate slaughter (Las Vegas) is easy, cost effective and available to any psychopath with a decent weapon

Nobodys Home's picture

Great! So now we just need to realign psychopaths targeting decisions. Wrong concert you MKUltra Beeatch! Shoulda struck the ProgressoCommieAntifaLesboPalloooza!