A recent report by the United Nations Security Council found that a Turkish-made autonomous drone may have “hunted down and remotely engaged” enemy soldiers loyal to the Libyan General Khalifa Haftar. This bombshell report could be one of the first recorded instances where a terminator-style AI drone engaged and destroyed human targets on its own initiative.
“Logistics convoys and retreating Haftar Affiliated Forces (HAF) were subsequently hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as the STM Kargu-2 and other loitering munitions,” the UN report reveals.
“The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true “fire, forget and find” capability,” the report went on to say.
An image from the report provides a detailed infographic of the STM Kargu-2, calling it a loitering munition (also known as a suicide drone or kamikaze drone). This drone is outfitted with an explosive charge and uses AI and sensors to target enemy forces in a kamikaze attack.
It’s unclear in the report if any soldiers were killed in the attack, but one would assume the loitering munition completed its mission.
Zachary Kallenborn, a research affiliate with the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, said, “the Kargu-2 signifies something perhaps even more globally significant: a new chapter in autonomous weapons, one in which they are used to fight and kill human beings based on artificial intelligence.”
Kallenborn published a report last year for the US Air Force that argues a large-scale adversarial drone swarm attack could be classified as a “weapon of mass destruction” (WMD), a term commonly used to describe chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon capable of causing widespread death and destruction.
He is not the only one warning about killer AI robots. A group of the world’s leading AI researchers and humanitarian organizations are warning about the day when lethal autonomous weapons systems.
Future of Life Institute released this video several years ago titled: “Slaughterbots.”
Futuristic robots that conduct war without human intervention have already been deployed to modern battlefields. The warnings are too late as the Pentagon takes aim with AI bots taking the kill shot.