"Atlas," a humanoid robot built by Boston Dynamics and unveiled in 2013 as part of the "Robotics Challenge" sponsored by the U.S. military-research agency DARPA. [Source: DARPA on YouTube]
Gubrud argues that a DOD directive put in place last year sends a signal to military vendors that the Pentagon is interested in and supports the development of autonomous weapons. He writes that, while the directive is vague in some important respects, it pushes us further down the road to autonomous killer robots. But, he says, it isn’t exactly clear why we should be on that road at all: the arguments in favor of autonomous weapons are weak, and both professional soldiers and the public at large object to them.