Directed by by Stewart Sugg, “Slaughterbots” is a Sci-Fi short set in a dystopian world where a new form of A.I. weaponry has been created. All these drone bots need is a profile: age, sex, fitness, uniform, and ethnicity. Nuclear is obsolete. Take out your entire enemy virtually risk free. Just characterize him, release the swarm, and rest easy.
The 7 minute film opens with a Silicon Valley CEO-type delivering a product presentation to a live audience a la Steve Jobs. The presentation seems innocuous enough at first—the presenter seems to be unveiling some new drone technology—but takes a dark turn when he demonstrates how these autonomous drones can slaughter humans like cattle by delivering “a shaped explosive” to the skull.
The audience eats it up, clapping and laughing along with the CEO as if they hadn’t witnessed anything more dangerous than the unveiling of the iPhone X. The CEO goes further, showing videos of the tiny killer drone in action.
“Let’s watch what happens when the weapons make the decisions,” the CEO says, as the bot executes a number of people on the massive screen behind him. “Now trust me, these are all bad guys.”
What follows is a deeply unsettling portrait of a dystopian world where these small weaponised drones use their onboard technologies—“cameras like you use for your social media apps, facial recognition like you have on your phones!”—to make autonomous decisions about who lives and who dies.