alright, so i've been saying for quite awhile that ethics with a capital "e" is the most important aspect of technology that must be given heed.
at this point, artificial intelligence is only smart enough to make robots dangerous -- in other words, a malfunctioning mechanical weapon is like a small child in a crystal shop, except that the crystal is you and i.
noel sharkey, of the university of sheffield agrees.
he says "current robots are dumb machines with very limited sensing capability. what this means is that it is not possible to guarantee discrimination between combatants and innocents or a proportional use of force as required by the current laws of war".
he also worries that with falling prices on robotic components that robots will become a standard tool of mercenaries.
in a way, the detonation mechanism in an ied (or improvised explosive device) is really just a type of robot with one capability, to trigger an explosion based on an input.