Army of None

Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Paul Scharre (Author)


A Pentagon defense expert and former U.S. Army Ranger traces the emergence of autonomous weapons.

What happens when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Although it sounds like science fiction, the technology to create weapons that could hunt and destroy targets on their own already exists. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in emerging weapons technologies, draws on incisive research and firsthand experience to explore how increasingly autonomous weapons are changing warfare.

This far-ranging investigation examines the emergence of fully autonomous weapons, the movement to ban them, and the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use. Scharre spotlights the role of artificial intelligence in military technology, spanning decades of innovation from German noise-seeking Wren torpedoes in World War II—antecedents of today’s armed drones—to autonomous cyber weapons. At the forefront of a game-changing debate, Army of None engages military history, global policy, and bleeding-edge science to explore what it would mean to give machines authority over the ultimate decision: life or death.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Forthcoming April 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-60898-4
  • 6.1 × 9.3 in / 384 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“A tour de force of the future of war technology. A former Army Ranger turned defense analyst, Paul Scharre has been there and back. He skillfully uses that background to blend personal experience and thoughtful analysis into a highly readable journey through the world of robots on the battlefield and beyond. ” — P.W. Singer, author of Wired for War and Ghost Fleet

“The era of autonomous weapons is upon us. In "Army of None", Scharre combines his experience as a warrior and his insight as a policy researcher, to paint a comprehensive picture of exactly what such an era will look like. He masterfully weaves together threads tying future weapon systems, artificial intelligence and policy imperatives to deliver a book that is simply a must-read for anyone interested in military technology and its broader implications.” — Amir Husain, Founder & CEO of SparkCognition, author of The Sentient Machine