Slaughterbots — An Inevitable Reality of combining AI, drones and miniaturization

When you combine artificial intelligence, drones, and miniaturization, we have the potential for unbelievable terror attacks and a complete upheaval of the way we currently conduct war. And a powerful tool for terrorists.

The video clip below is not science fiction. Based on the current level of technology, it could easily be reality. Using artificial intelligence for targeting threats already exists. Drones already exist. And they are getting very, very small. The image to the left is of micro-drones released by a US FA-18. Now.

I predict the first drone terror attacks within a year. They will be clumsy: loading C-4 onto a mid-range sized drone and flying it manually to a target. Perhaps into the path of a plane taking off. Into a meeting room. A concert. A sporting event.

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We have always worried bigger is more dangerous– the Terminator movies showed large robots killing humans. That’s going in the wrong direction. This is a case where smaller is more dangerous. How are you going to shoot down 100 small drones coming at you? How will a 13 billion dollar aircraft carrier protect itself against a dual threat of thousands of underwater and airborne drones all carrying weapons? A threat that would cost only in the millions compared to the price tag of a carrier? Or, more simply, surround the carrier with drones that swarm any aircraft taking off? Find the choke point and don’t just choke, sever it.

Some say there are positive aspects to artificial intelligence targeting. Machines aren’t emotional. Machines won’t disobey the “rules of war”. They won’t kill prisoners or innocent civilians.

Unless they are programmed to.

Think it through. If we can program drones, each sufficient to kill a single human, to kill everyone who uses the hashtag #resistance how quickly will the resistance be wiped out on day one? A bit simplistic. But it is simply an extension of what the NSA and other organizations are currently doing with their spyware. Spyware into weaponware is an inevitable step.

When we combine cyberwar with drone war things are going to get very, very nasty.

Our military and defensive mechanisms are already outdated.

The technology and capability to do this is easily obtained by non-states organizations. By anyone with an agenda.

What will we do?

Originally published at on November 18, 2017.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to

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