Humans could find themselves "utterly defenceless" against small, deadly drones that choose their own targets through artificial intelligence, a leading US expert in computer science has warned.
He warned that such drones could be deployed within the next decade.
Professor Russell argued the drones will be limited more by physical constraints than by limits on the artificial intelligence that will control them.
He called on robotics and computer scientists, along with professional scientific organisations, to take a position on Laws, just as physicists did over nuclear weapons and biologists over the use of disease agents in warfare.
Some critics of Laws have called for an international treaty limiting their use or banning them altogether.
According to Professor Russell, the three countries at the forefront of the technology - the US, UK and Israel - all insist that such a treaty is unnecessary as they have internal weapons review processes that ensure compliance with international law.