Although experts say that Artificial Intelligence is still several decades away, current technology is on the verge of giving us fully weapon systems. For years, our Navy has protected its ships with automated defensive weapon systems that target threats without much human help. Our Armyâ€™s counter-mortar system tracks incoming mortar rounds and returns a volley of mortars without direct human input. Once launched, our Air Forceâ€™s anti-aircraft missiles seek out the nearest heat source without further human control. However, unlike drones, fully automated weapons will soon have complete autonomy in terms of what they target and how they engage the enemy, all without any human involvement or intervention. One system approaching this capability is the $200,000 Samsung SGR-1 sentry-bot which patrols the Korean demilitarized zone for South Korea. It uses heat and motion sensors to detect intruders and is armed with machine guns and grenade launchers -although these cannot be fired without human authorization. Current research is determining how to make robots better able to operate on their own for extended periods of time, possibly behind enemy lines. Some of todayâ€™s semi-autonomous robots are able to independently choose targets to attack and locate power sources on their own. It is estimated that fully autonomous robots are still about 20 years away from deployment. Critics say we should not remove the human factor from lethal battlefield decisions. Others say properly-programmed autonomous weapons can eliminate some human battlefield mistakes such as misidentifying targets or discounting vital intelligence because of cognitive bias. Our Pentagon has recently issued a temporary pledge that it will keep humans in the loop with regards to targeting and the use of deadly force. However, other nations developing these weapons have made no such pledge.
Pending Legislation: None
I oppose reforming current autonomous weapons policy
I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to introduce an international treaty to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons systems