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Killer robots should be banned in advance, Experts say

We might never see a T1000 live in action or any of the robot villains in the history of Hollywood.

That’s thanks to Harvard Law School and Human Rights Watch, who have co-authored a report calling for the ban on fully autonomous killer robots, even though we don’t even have those yet.

The report - called The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots - was co-authored by Human Rights Watch and released ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva on 13 April, Sky reports.

The closest we ever got to killer robots are the drones, which still require a human to select the target and fire a missile. But fully autonomous robots could pick their own targets, and the lack of accountability for eventual errors is worrisome.

The report says: "Fully autonomous weapons do not yet exist but technology is moving in their direction, and precursors are already in use or development.

"For example, many countries use weapons defence systems - such as the Israeli Iron Dome and the US Phalanx and C-RAM - that are programmed to respond automatically to threats from incoming munitions."

It adds: "The lack of meaningful human control places fully autonomous weapons in an ambiguous and troubling position.

"On the one hand, while traditional weapons are tools in the hands of human beings, fully autonomous weapons, once deployed, would make their own determinations about the use of lethal force."

The report authors call for the development and production of such weapons to be banned internationally.