As the reports I have linked below refer to military machines, namely robots, drones, and the like, these are what I mean by autonomous machine. These military machines have, to my knowledge up to now, to be controlled by a military operative, whether in the country the machine is in, or remotely via satellite in another country. These reports suggest no operative is controlling these machines and the machines themselves are determining whether the person is an enemy or ally, breaking all three of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.
The magazine, New Scientist reported that:
Military drones may have autonomously attacked humans for the first time ever last year, according to a United Nations report. While the full details of the incident, which took place in Libya, haven’t been released and it is unclear if there were any casualties, the event suggests that international efforts to ban lethal autonomous weapons before they are used may already be too late.
Looking at the idea, apparently, it comes from a 548-page report from the United Nations Security Council that details the tail end of the Second Libyan Civil War.
Logistics convoys and retreating HAF were subsequently hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as the STM Kargu-2 (see annex 30) and other loitering munitions. The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true “fire, forget and find” capability.
The Verve who provided this quote, states
What the report doesn’t say — at least not outright — is that human beings were killed by autonomous robots acting without human supervision. It says humans and vehicles were attacked by a mix of drones, quadcopters, and “loitering munitions” (we’ll get to those later), and that the quadcopters had been programmed to work offline. But whether the attacks took place without connectivity is unclear.
Nevertheless, a number of publications including CNET have been reporting that
Libyan forces were "hunted down and remotely engaged" by an autonomous drone
So, have autonomous machines distinguished enemies from allies, and killed them without human supervision?
In response to comments made, I would hope for (if possible) a well documented case that either
- a) a weapon system targeted a person and that the on-board discrimination capabilities were engaged or
- b) (if a) is not possible) that it is feasible and very possible that what is reported has actually happened