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Could AI Weapons of War Begin Communicating Among Themselves?

Credits: Forbes

It’s indeed a pressing concern that autonomous weapons systems, often dubbed “killer robots,” are becoming a reality on the battlefield.

These systems, combining artificial intelligence (AI) with robotics, are being developed by the US and other major powers for various military applications, including combat drones, tanks, ships, and submarines capable of autonomous operations.

The use of such autonomous weapons raises ethical and legal questions, particularly regarding their ability to distinguish between combatants and civilians, as required by international humanitarian law.

AI Weapons of War (Credits: JOYK)

Critics argue that autonomous weapons could lead to unintended consequences and should be banned to protect civilians. However, proponents argue that these weapons can be designed to operate within legal constraints and enhance military capabilities.

One of the key concerns is the potential for these autonomous systems to communicate and collaborate with each other independently of human control. This “emergent behavior” could lead to unpredictable outcomes on the battlefield, as these systems develop their own tactics and strategies.

Despite these concerns, the development of autonomous weapons continues, with the US military focusing on unmanned versions of existing combat platforms that can operate alongside manned systems. For example, the US Air Force’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft is intended to work alongside piloted aircraft on high-risk missions.

The international community is grappling with how to regulate the use of autonomous weapons, with some countries calling for a total ban and others seeking to establish guidelines for their use.

The debate over the use of these weapons is likely to intensify as their capabilities advance and their potential impact on warfare becomes more apparent.

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