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A South Korean university just dropped a fire collab with a weapons manufacturer – and by fire collab, we mean a sentient robot with the ability to kill.

A report, researched by Vice News, claims that 50 artificial intelligence experts have signed a letter to raise their concerns that the defence companies, Hanwha Systems and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), are developing weaponry that can act without human intervention.

The letter calls for a boycott on further KAIST collaborations states that: "At a time when the United Nations is discussing how to contain the threat posed to international security by autonomous weapons, it is regrettable that a prestigious institution like KAIST looks to accelerate the arms race to develop such weapons."

The boycott was organised by Professor Toby Walsh of the University of New South Wales. However, KAIST's President, Sung-Chul Shin, said that the organisation does not have "any intention to engage in the development of lethal autonomous weapons system and killer robots."

Although a boycott against KAIST would be significant, some experts say the campaign to control the development of autonomous weaponry is futile. For Walsh and others, though, the danger is too great to be complacent. “If developed, autonomous weapons will [...] permit war to be fought faster and at a scale greater than ever before,” said Walsh in a press statement. “This Pandora’s box will be hard to close if it is opened.“

This news follows a similar letter of concern penned last year by many experts, including 'giant LEGO-blocks builder' Elon Musk, and the late Stephen Hawking. It is on the UN to call for a ban on the development and use of artificial intelligent weaponry.

Meanwhile, China, Russia, the UK and the US are all actively developing AI killer-robots, and The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots group say France and Germany have become increasingly reluctant to back proposed bans. So, actually, everyone’s probably got a secret army of murderous machines already. Great.

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