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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The Third Revolution in Warfare

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Illustration shows grim view of various types of technology used in warfare, including drones

Not only will killer robots become more intelligent, more precise, faster, and cheaper; they will also learn new capabilities.

As we reflected on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the grisly reality of armed combat and the challenge posed by asymmetric suicide terror attacks grow harder to ignore. But weapons technology has changed substantially over the past two decades. What if these assailants were able to remove human suicide bombers or attackers from the equation altogether?

Autonomous weaponry is the third revolution in warfare, following gunpowder and nuclear arms. The evolution from land mines to guided missiles was just a prelude to true AI-enabled autonomy—the full engagement of killing: searching for, deciding to engage, and obliterating another human life, completely without human involvement.

From The Atlantic
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