Berkeley University a video of Slaughterbot microdrones. It is a fictional visualization of an autonomous weapons scenario. The technology to achieve what is in the video is close. It would be deployment of drone swarms which DARPA and others are working on.
People will probably get hung up on the details here, but the point is that AI has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost and risk of waging war, and that’s a bad thing if you value peace.
Nextbigfuture agrees that the killer drone swarms with facial recognition is achievable in the near term.
President Obama embraced the US drone program, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. Between 384 and 807 civilians were killed in those countries, according to reports logged by the Bureau.
So the use of larger drones has already happened for over a decade.
You may have noticed that US wars did not become more inexpensive.
Drone targeting was a replacement for CIA assassinations for the US or Mossad assassinations by Israel.
Nextbigfuture has written that where drone assassination would bring new capability and make a difference would be to use sprayed goop instead of explosives. Goop could be sprayed onto the nostrils and mouth while the target is sleeping. The goop would be designed to dissolve after ten to fifteen minutes after the victim had suffocated at night. The purpose of this or other weapons would be to make an assassination look like a heat attack or stroke or some other medical situation.
The CIA or Mossad could have performed this kind of work before, but drones could make more missions successful.
The Slaughterbot video also discussed automated targeted cleansing of a population. Again this is possible now. It is a matter of not having a population vulnerable. There will be various anti-drone weapons and your side will have their own drones.
Background of the technology
Below are non-fictional drone research