By Jamie Klatell - 09/23/11 07:08 PM EDT
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) took to the House floor on Thursday to warn about a dangerous new invention: robot drones.
Referencing a Washington Post article about the Pentagon's development of aircraft and ground vehicles that need no human input, Woolsey warned that the concept of robot-fought war was scary enough, but that the machines could be hacked as well.
"We know that in recent years the Pentagon has increasingly used unmanned drone aircraft to carry out violent acts of war, and frankly, that's bad enough," she said. "But now there's a new and even more frightening technology in the works. It's called 'lethal autonomy.' And under the system, the drones would no longer be remotely operated and controlled by actual human beings."
Autonomous drones are in the research phase and military researchers don't know when such machines would come into service, according the report in the Post.
Woolsey said robotic war machines raised too many "humanitarian red flags" to even consider.
"Software can break down. It could even be hacked. Furthermore, computers don't have a conscience," she said. "You can just imagine, or I can, anyway, mass civilian atrocities thanks to a robot drone raging out of control."