(Not sure which is the best forum for this. Is it Science&Tech? Foreign Affairs? Military?)
The US and others already have remotely piloted drones which, at the push of a button, can wipe out a terrorist/family/small village.
Apparently, the best ideas are from Hollywood, and military scientists are already working on autonomous killer robots - actual Terminators. These would be a bit like the robots used for bomb disposal, but would have a machine gun attached and make their own decisions on who to kill.
I actually saw a prototype once. I was at a closed arms trade show in paris a few years back (don't ask) and an Israel company was showing off this thing. It was about 60 cm high, looked like a miniature tank and had a machine gun where the turret should have been. It was 'semi-autonomous' - a bit like the Mars Rover - you'd tell it where to go, and it would figure out its own route. It would also target humans it saw, but wait for a command before it did anything unpleasant to them. Its a small step to making kill decisions on its own.
Anyway, the existence and development of such things terrifies not only me. "A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban "killer robots" before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates."
Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners | Technology | The Observer
What does p.ie think? I presume the libertarian camp will demand the right of every individual to own its own genocidal killer robot. I would support a ban, but I doubt such a ban would be respected. I fear a future oil war where instead of 'boots on the ground', fleets of robots are sent to suppress the population. No brave soldiers in body bags returning on the nightly news to moderate public opinion. No downside for the politicians. Endless war becomes profitable once again.