The weapons, which could be ready for use within the next 20 years, would breach a moral and ethical boundary that should never be crossed, said Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, of the "Campaign To Stop Killer Robots".
"If war is reduced to weapons attacking without human beings in control, it is going to be civilians who are going to bear the brunt of warfare," said Williams, who won the 1997 peace prize for her work on banning landmines.
Weapons such as remotely piloted drones are already used by some armed forces and companies are working on developing systems with a greater level of autonomy in flight and operation.
"We already have a certain amount of autonomy," said Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield.
"I think we are already there. If you asked me to go and make an autonomous killer robot today, I could do it. I could have you one here in a few days," he told reporters."
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