Autonomous weapons

Autonomous weapons

With the advancement of technology in warfare, there exist sophisticated weapons that humans, computers, and AI can remotely control.

They can take the shape of robots, tanks or drones and assist in scouting, spying, and carrying out specific attacks.

Armies can send in drones in swarms flying at very high speeds to overpower air defence systems.

It is also possible to send them individually to spy on a facility as they are relatively small. Some drones can also overtly attack.

Consider, for example, Israel’s IAI Harop. It has other names, including “loitering munition” and “kamikaze drone”.

Once launched, the drone flies to a specific location and can loiter there for hours.

Then, when it spots a target like a port or a tower, it flies directly into it and explodes upon impact.

Shockingly, humans do not control these drones.

Once launched, the drone is fully autonomous and acts of its own volition, according to the algorithm controlling it.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is an excellent example of technology used to minimise the battlefield casualties of a conventional war.

The ethical considerations of autonomous weapons that can attack without human approval are massively complex.