MACHINES

Drones of the Future: Automated Killing

Science fiction plot or the future of war? Researchers across the United States having been working on technology aimed at creating automated killing machines—or drones that are controlled by computers. These weapons will hunt, identify, and kill enemies using calculations. The automated drones eliminate the time needed for humans to make decisions in complex battles. While hacking is a fear, the drones will use algorithms to return fire, minimize collateral damage, recognize if enemies are surrendering, and even obey international laws. While the U.S. military is funding these research programs, there is hardly a clear timeline for the project. Experts estimate that for the technology to be fine-tuned, it may be more than 20 years.