KILLER robots capable of violent rebellions are to be sold immediately to leading nations, an expert has chillingly revealed.
The mass murder machines are “on the brink” of being deployed on the battlefield.
But their introduction could be truly devastating, because of their ability to murder without human instruction.
And United Nations Association campaigner Ben Donaldson warned they are already on the cusp of mass production.
Donaldson, whose group advise on but are independent of the UN, told Daily Star Online: “We are on the brink of a new generation of weapons systems that can kill people without meaningful human control.
“Much of the technology is already out there.
“Autonomy is creeping into weapons systems which are either deployed or about to be deployed”
“Autonomy is creeping into weapons systems which are either deployed or about to be deployed.
“From South Korean sentry guns which can automatically identify and attack soldiers to Israel’s Harop, which is a loitering bomb that can identify, select and strike moving targets without human oversight.”
He added that the technology could rapidly overtake the human ability to control it.
Such a gap could lead to machines becoming “tirgger happy”, meaning they kill targets not identified by human intelligence.
He added: “There is a strong risk that the technology that enables an autonomous weapon to kill will develop more rapidly than any potential technology that enables it to decide whether it should.
“This means autonomous weapons could be more ‘trigger happy’ than humans.”
Donaldson’s charity is also a member organisation of Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
The group has long issued worldwide calls for killer robots to be banned by law, to ensure a human is always in control.
But so far their calls have resulted in frustration, with nations including the US and Russia opposing a treaty to ban them.
Donaldson has urged killer robot manufactures and those commissioning them to think through the consequences before putting them up for sale.
He added: “Making decisions around these principles is not straightforward.
“Those making them need to be able to evaluate the likely consequences of their actions, which requires a complex set of judgments that are tactical, but also legal and moral.
“It should be a human that makes that call, particularly when it comes to ‘grey areas’.”
His comments come amid a wave of warnings about the use of robots by military powers.
Dr Subhash Kak – an Oklahoma University lecturer and computer engineer – previously said he believes killer robots will fall into the hands of illegal gangs.
And what’s worse, he believes they will be sold on the black market advertising “untraceable murders”.
Dr Kak told us: “The technology for human assisted killer robots is already here.
“Bad actors will be able to produce these using parts that are not too difficult to buy on the open market, or just get them on the black market.
“The possibility of untraceable terror attacks will increase.
“Given the level of current technology, the danger of self-radicalisation does not exist at this moment.
“On the other hand, malfunctioning robot brains may produce behavior like that of radicalized humans.
“The appeal to self-radicalized youths by leaders of extremist religious groups, that has led to many terror incidents in the UK in recent years, is like the use of self-radicalized robot minds.
“There could be a bug in the code.”