What do you do if you are worried about killer robots? If you are the Pentagon and those killer robots belong to the Chinese and Russians, then you propose a $12 to $15 billion budget to fund your own AI army and next-gen weapon technology.The Pentagon\u2019s plan for new tech, according to Reuters, will include \u201cwearable electronics, exoskeletons, greater use of drones and manned aircraft working together, and mother ships that would send out mini-drones to execute military missions.\u201dAt a conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work explained:\u201cWe believe that the advantage we have is ... our people; that tech-savvy people who\u2019ve grown up in the iWorld will kick the crap out of people who grew up in the iWorld under an authoritarian reign.\u201dRegarding the Pentagon\u2019s fiscal 2017 budget request, Work said the military would use the funds \u201cto invest in autonomous weapons and deep-learning machines that draw on advances in artificial intelligence, with a heavy focus on human-machine collaboration and teaming in combat.\u201d He added that the billions are needed so the U.S. military can \u201cdominate\u201d in machine learning and artificial intelligence.Of course, the Pentagon would keep this work classified, but it would announce specific accomplishments so the propaganda will shake up potential adversaries. It seems a bit like showboating by the great and powerful Wizard of Oz without being able to see what he is actually doing behind the curtain. According to Reuters, Work said, \u201cI want our competitors to wonder what's behind the black curtain.\u201dTo truly pursue autonomous weapons, advanced AI systems, and killer robots...have people at the Pentagon never seen any of the Terminator movies? In the realm of non-fiction, has the Pentagon chosen to ignore warnings by Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and other brilliant minds about killer robots, creating Skynet and super-intelligent AI systems which could \u201cspell the end of the human race?\u201dFrom a security perspective, Reuters reported \u201cthere was \u2018a lot of skepticism\u2019 within the Defense Department over whether the military would be able to perfect and protect such a network.\u201d Yet Work is \u201cconvinced such weapons are \u2018not only possible, but ... a requirement\u2019.\u201d Hopefully none of the proposed weapons would be built using foreign-made chips with built-in backdoor attack tools.Pentagon\u2019s 5 building blocks of human-machine collaborationNational Defense Magazine reported on the \u201cfive \u2018building blocks\u2019 of human-machine collaboration that the Pentagon hopes to exploit as the autonomy and artificial intelligence fields advance.\u201dThe first building block of investment is \u201cautonomous \u2018deep learning systems\u2019 that can analyze large amounts of data\u201d and \u201cdeal with incoming threats.\u201d Work gave the following example, \u201cYou cannot have a human operator operating at human speed fighting back a determined cyber attack,\u201d Work said. \u201cYou\u2019re going to have to have a learning machine that does that.\u201d\u201cHuman-machine collaboration to improve decision-making\u201d is the next step. Work gave the example of the \u201ccutting edge helmet for the F-35 joint strike fighter,\u201d which displays images from outside the plane to give \u201c360 degrees of information to pilots.\u201dThink \u201cIron Man suit\u201d to get the gist of the third building block of \u201cassisted human operations.\u201d U.S. Special Operations Command is reportedly developing such exoskeletons.The fourth step, according to Work, is \u201chuman-machine combat teaming.\u201d He gave an example of \u201chaving a commander direct a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles against enemy forces.\u201dLastly, the fifth area of investment is \u201cnetwork enabled semi-autonomous weapons,\u201d which \u201ccould continue to operate in the face of cyber and electronic warfare attacks on communication systems and technologies such as GPS.\u201dThe latter scenario is like something out of the June 2015 Law of War Manual's (pdf) \u201cCyber Operations\u201d chapter. A plethora of cyber weapons are sanctioned, although cyber operations that would be considered \u201cuse of force\u201d include those that would \u201c(1) trigger a nuclear plant meltdown; (2) open a dam above a populated area, causing destruction; or (3) disable air traffic control services, resulting in airplane crashes.\u201dThe Pentagon will officially release its $12 to $15 billion fiscal year 2017 budget during the first week of February. All of this would be in addition to the $460 million U.S. Cyber Command \u201clethal cyber weapons\u201d project, a military contract for developing \u201ccomputer code capable of killing adversaries\u201d and logic bombs capable of self-destructing to take out an enemy\u2019s critical infrastructure.