This is my biggest holy s*#t in recent months, and that's saying something given the way the news has been. I can't decide if it's just a science fiction scenario or something I really need to worry about. These words are from Stuart Russell, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California at Berkeley:
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 these 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.
There will be manufacturers producing millions of these weapons that people will be able to buy just like you can buy guns now, except millions of guns don’t matter unless you have a million soldiers. You need only three guys to write the program and launch them. So you can just imagine that in many parts of the world humans will be hunted. They will be cowering underground in shelters and devising techniques so that they don’t get detected. This is the ever-present cloud of lethal autonomous weapons.
They could be here in two to three years.
Like I said, this may just be a science fiction scenario, but I think it would be a good idea for Congress (and the U.N., if it would do any good) to outlaw these now. We have state lawmakers who keep introducing legislation banning sharia law, which isn't anything anyone would try to enact in the U.S., so maybe they can instead spend a little energy preventing this horror, which is much more likely to happen.