This fictional video about AI-powered weapons makes The Terminator look like a Disney film

This fictional video about AI-powered weapons makes The Terminator look like a Disney film

If you woke up today feeling like the world wasn’t a very scary place, and for some reason you didn’t want to continue feeling that way, we’ve got the remedy for you. “Slaughterbots” is seven minutes and forty-seven seconds of sheer horror designed to be a fictional warning against a future full of killer robots.

The issue at hand is autonomous weapons with the ‘ability’ to kill people without meaningful human direction. It’s a very real concern for some of the world’s top scientific minds including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking.

Watch for yourself, if you dare, but be forewarned: the following video might be considered disturbing. It’s not particularly gruesome, but it is violent and very provocative. The faint-of-heart or easily frightened may want to pass this one up.

The future shown in the video doesn’t look very far off, which is why it’s so incredibly scary. It could be next Tuesday, based on what we’re seeing in the video and what we already know about AI and drone technology.

At least it doesn’t feature insect cyborgs, which by the way are very real.

What’s more terrifying than the imagery is the attitude portrayed in the short film, one which doesn’t seem so far off from the current state of political divisiveness around the world. A fictional presenter introduces a new product by saying:

They used to say guns don’t kill people, people do. Well people don’t. They get emotional, disobey orders, aim high. Let’s watch the weapons make the decisions.

Typically the idea of killer robots is accompanied by visions of powerful steel machines capable of withstanding mass amounts of damage and dishing out destruction with heavy firepower. In “Slaughterbots,” however, the danger comes from tiny drones.

The video was created by and Stuart Russell, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. According to him:

This short film is more than just speculation. It shows the results of integrating and miniaturizing technology that we already have.

Luckily there are several companies working on anti-drone technology, and governments are certainly aware of the potential threat that AI presents, especially when it comes to drone swarms.

The story in the “Slaughterbots” video is more like something out of Netflix’s “Black Mirror” (which had a similar episode focused on electronic bees) than a realistic scenario – though it seems possible, even plausible.

Anyone know where I can get some drone-proof windows? Asking for a friend.

Read next: China is opening a massive VR theme park next month