Swell. To round it out, here is the complementary military research...
Just read this in the NYT:
"The Pentagon’s latest budget outlined $18 billion to be spent over three years on technologies that included those needed for autonomous weapons. (...)
At the core of the strategic shift envisioned by the Pentagon is a concept that officials call centaur warfighting. Named for the half-man and half-horse in Greek mythology, the strategy emphasizes human control and autonomous weapons as ways to augment and magnify the creativity and problem-solving skills of soldiers, pilots and sailors, not replace them.
The weapons, in the Pentagon’s vision, would be less like the Terminator and more like the comic-book superhero Iron Man, Mr. Work said in an interview.
“There’s so much fear out there about killer robots and Skynet,” the murderous artificial intelligence network of the “Terminator” movies, Mr. Work said. “That’s not the way we envision it at all.” (...)
Beyond the Pentagon, though, there is deep skepticism that such limits will remain in place once the technologies to create thinking weapons are perfected. Hundreds of scientists and experts warned in an open letter last year that developing even the dumbest of intelligent weapons risked setting off a global arms race. The result, the letter warned, would be fully independent robots that can kill, and are cheap and as readily available to rogue states and violent extremists as they are to great powers.
“Autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” the letter said. (...)
The debate within the military is no longer about whether to build autonomous weapons but how much independence to give them. Gen. Paul J. Selva of the Air Force, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recently that the United States was about a decade away from having the technology to build a fully independent robot that could decide on its own whom and when to kill, though it had no intention of building one.
Other countries were not far behind, and it was very likely that someone would eventually try to unleash “something like a Terminator,” General Selva said, invoking what seems to be a common reference in any discussion on autonomous weapons. (...)
For now, though, the current state of the art is decidedly less frightening. Exhibit A: the small, unarmed drone tested this summer on Cape Cod.
It could not turn itself on and just fly off. It had to be told by humans
where to go and what to look for. But once aloft, it decided on its own how to execute its orders. (...)
Unlike the technologies and material needed for nuclear weapons or guided missiles, artificial intelligence as powerful as what the Pentagon seeks to harness is already deeply woven into everyday life. Military technology is often years behind what can be picked up at Best Buy. (...)
After the war, the United States helped negotiate an international treaty that sought to ban unrestricted submarine warfare.
Then came the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. That day, it took just six hours for the United States military to disregard decades of legal and ethical norms and order unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan. American submarines went on to devastate Japan’s civilian merchant fleet during World War II, in a campaign that was later acknowledged to be tantamount to a war crime.
“The point is, what happens once submarines are no longer a new technology, and we’re losing?” Mr. Singer said. He added: “Think about robots, things we say we wouldn’t do now, in a different kind of war.” "