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The Rise of Killer Drones That Can Think for Themselves

The U.S. military may be a decade or so away from deploying an army of pilotless drones capable of collaborating and killing without any human guidance.

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Christian Caryl writes in the  New York Review of Books, “[T]he U.S. aerospace industry has for all practical purposes ceased research and development work on manned aircraft. All the projects now on the drawing board revolve around pilotless vehicles."  

Earlier this year,  The Guardian reported that an internal report from the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence warned that drone technology was leading to an "incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality" and suggested that Britain quickly institute rules and regulations for "acceptable machine behavior” to avoid a disastrous future. 

Perhaps raising alarms about a horrific future where humans are hunted by Terminator killing machines is hyperbolic. But are autonomous drones really worth the risk?

Rania Khalek is an associate writer for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter  @RaniaKhalek.