A British expert is urging international action to curb the use of military robot tanks and aircraft.
Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, said drones that could decide when and who to kill were almost here and would lead to a rapid rise in civilian casualties.
U.S. drones, such as the Predator and Reaper, are being armed with cluster bombs and missiles and robot tanks such as the Talon Sword are armed with machine guns and grenade launchers.
Besides Britain and the U.S., another 43 countries have programmes to develop military robots.
Sharkey said that the increased deployment of automated military technology was already creating a culture of armchair warfare.
"I do think there should be some international discussion and arms control on these weapons but there’s absolutely none,” said Sharkey.