The first book in its genre, Genius Weapons: Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Weaponry, and the Future of Warfare (Prometheus Books, November 6, 2018) by Louis A. Del Monte, delineates the new arms race between the United States, China, and Russia to develop genius weapons, weapons whose artificial intelligence greatly exceeds human intelligence and the destructive force of nuclear weapons.

Artificial intelligence is playing an ever-increasing role in military weapon systems. The Pentagon is now in a race with China and Russia to develop “lethal autonomous weapon systems” (LAWS). In this eye-opening overview, a physicist, technology expert, and former Honeywell executive examines the advantages and the potential threats to humanity resulting from the deployment of weapons guided by superintelligent computers (i.e., genius weapons). Stressing the likelihood that these weapons will be available in the coming decades since no treaty regulates their development and deployment, the author examines the future of warfare and the potential for genius weapons to initiate a war that threatens the extinction of humanity.

Though some believe robotic systems might lessen military casualties in a conflict, there are major concerns: Should we allow machines to make life-and-death decisions in battle? Who would be accountable for the actions of completely autonomous weapons–the programmer, the machine itself, or the country that deploys LAWS? When warfare becomes just a matter of technology, will war become more probable, edging humanity closer to annihilation? What if AI technology reaches a “singularity level” (i.e., superintelligence) so that our weapons are controlled by an intelligence greatly exceeding human intelligence?

“A highly readable and deeply researched exploration of one of the most chilling aspects of the development of artificial intelligence: the creation of intelligent, autonomous killing machines. In Louis A. Del Monte’s view, the multibillion dollar arms industry and longstanding rivalries among nations make the creation of autonomous weapons extremely likely. We must resist the allure of genius weapons, Del Monte argues, because they will almost inevitably lead to our extinction,” said James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

In his insightful and prescient account of genius weapons, Del Monte uses vivid scenarios that immerse the reader in the ethical dilemmas and existential threats posed by these weapons. Based on hard science and political realities, the book warns that the dystopian visions of such movies as The Terminator and I, Robot may become a frightening reality in the future. The author concludes with concrete recommendations, founded in historical precedent, to control this new arms race.

“For the second time in history, humanity is on the verge of creating weapons that might wipe us out entirely. Will we have the wisdom not to use them? No one can say, but this book will give you the facts you need to think about the issue intelligently,” said J. Storrs Hall, author of Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine.


Louis A. Del Monte is available for interviews. You may contact him by phone at (952) 261-4532, or by email at