Rise of the Slaughterbots

Drones are everywhere today. Cheap and tiny accelerometers, gyroscopes and processors have allowed us to create drones that anyone can afford and everyone can fly. Drones have been used by law enforcement and military forces, as well – for surveillance but also for killing. With the rapid development of AI technologies, what happens when we make these drones autonomous? What are the implications for privacy and security? I’ll discuss this and more with Nick Weaver, computer and cybersecurity expert, and chief mad scientist at Skerry Technologies.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:00:21: Data Privacy Week teaser
  • 0:01:11: Apple backdoor clarification
  • 0:03:14: Interview setup
  • 0:07:15: What first got you interested in autonomous drone technology?
  • 0:10:27: What technologies have enabled the explosion of cheap drones?
  • 0:15:22: What are the capabilities of modern consumer drones?
  • 0:17:54: Are there any legal restrictions on flying drones?
  • 0:20:44: Are there privacy laws around drone surveillance?
  • 0:22:24: How are drones used by law enforcement?
  • 0:25:14: How are drones being used for criminal purposes?
  • 0:27:12: What level of autonomy or AI can be found in consumer drones today?
  • 0:29:41: How hard is it to turn a DJI drone into an autonomous killbot?
  • 0:35:49: What sorts of countermeasures have we developed against drones?
  • 0:45:11: What roles have drones played in modern warfare?
  • 0:48:40: Can you detect drones on radar?
  • 0:50:22: Have drones influenced modern military tactics?
  • 0:52:33: Are there treaties restricting automomous killing machines?
  • 0:55:51: What’s the future of automonous drone tech?
  • 0:58:46: Is it difficult today to make your own drone?
  • 1:06:24: Interview wrap-up
  • 1:09:08: Annual listener survey update