With Killer Drones No Longer Just Fantasy, Where Is the Line?

Goinyk Production / shutterstock.com
Goinyk Production / shutterstock.com

For decades, science fiction writers have made a mint off pushing the limits of technology and the mind’s concepts as far as it can go. One of the first things they pushed was the idea of a computer becoming so strong it could control everything with no human intervention. This was the precursor to artificial intelligence, and now that it’s here, people are worried about the lack of human intervention.

Now, various nations are bringing ideas for how to legislate their use to the United Nations. Alex Kmentt has been working as the chief negotiator for Austria on the issue. In an interview, he said “This is really one of the most significant inflection points for humanity. What’s the role of human beings in the use of force — it’s an absolutely fundamental security issue, a legal issue, and an ethical issue.”

This focus has the US, Russia, Australia, and Israel among others claiming that there is no need for new laws; what we have now is working. Meanwhile, China wants incredibly restrictive and limited laws put into place. According to weapons experts, they would be so targeted that there would be little practical effect. However, knowing how other nations would follow them, it wouldn’t be unlikely to expect that China would simply make them just to violate them.

Getting new laws on the books will be incredibly difficult, especially with so many leaders in the industry pushing to keep the platform open. However, it becomes increasingly concerning as news of drone-launched attacks commence in Ukraine and Israel. These attacks are being carried out with planned attacks, and onboard computers that can change scenarios as needed. While their effectiveness has been limited, the ability to fall one in to take over for a downed aircraft autonomously makes it ridiculous to contend with.

Advancements in AI make the potential for AI to become completely self-autonomous is becoming more realistic with each passing day. Taking the human factor out of battle would mean substantial losses in equipment in short order, and free up resources to attack other positions. Per sci-fi history, this is also the precursor to the end-of-days level attacks.