Campaigners raised alarm bells today after the Ministry of Defence signed a £17 million contract with Silicon Valley defence tech startup Anduril.
Marketing itself as the “Lockheed Martin of the 21st century,” Anduril has already worked with the Home Office, rolling out AI watchtowers to identify migrants crossing in small boats.
The MoD’s contract was signed under its TALOS programme, which “helps to rapidly bring new technology into defence.”
On Wednesday Andurli unveiled the Roadrunner, described by the LA Times as an “AI-powered drone, bomb and boomerang.”
Drone Wars watchdog founder Chris Cole said: ”The government continues to publicly insist that it is not developing fully autonomous weapon systems, yet behind the scenes is funding multiple development programmes, like this one that combines AI with lethal military technology.”
“Anduril is a company of concern for many researchers in this area as its maverick owner is known to be an advocate of the development of ‘killer robots.’
“Rather than pushing for their development the UK should be engaging in international discussions to control this technology.”