Sobering overview of the future of autonomous weaponry

Sarah A. Topol profiles Mary Wareham and several other experts concerned about the near future of autonomous weapons.

UC Berkeley engineer Stuart Russell lays out the first scary scenario:

A very, very small quadcopter, one inch in diameter can carry a one- or two-gram shaped charge. You can order them from a drone manufacturer in China. You can program the code to say: “Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target.” A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel, so presumably you can also punch a hole in someone’s head. You can fit about three million of those in a semi-tractor-trailer. You can drive up I-95 with three trucks and have 10 million weapons attacking New York City. They don’t have to be very effective, only 5 or 10% of them have to find the target.

It gets worse from there.

Attack of the Killer Robots (BuzzFeed via MetaFilter)