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In the Terminator movies, fully autonomous robots wage war against humanity. Although cyborg assassins won’t be arriving from the future anytime soon, offensive “Terminator-style” autonomous robots that are programmed to kill could soon escape Hollywood science fiction and become reality. This actual rise of the machines raises important strategic, moral, and legal questions about whether the international community should empower robots to kill.

This debate goes well beyond drones, as they are yesterday’s news. Existing armed unmanned aerial vehicles are precursors to lethal autonomous robotics -- that is, killer robots -- that could choose targets without further

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