I am pro-autonomous weapons and unmanned combat systems. Now before everyone starts sending me hate- let me make my arguments for why I think it would be beneficial for everyone in the long run.
War sucks. A lot. Robots don't get PTSD. Not using autonomous or remotely operated systems means that soldiers have to experience the horrors of war and cost lives. Therefore, we have a moral obligation to prevent casualties by developing autonomous weapons.
Major military advantages. Remotely controlled drones have been used for several years now to do jobs that humans can't or shouldn't do. The next step is the development of semi-autonomous support systems, for example target tracking missiles, logistic support, weapon stabilization etc. Further yet more advanced systems could grant soldiers the ability to make more precise and rapid combat decisions.
Most of the military hardware and technology used to develop autonomous fighting systems has civilian applications. ex: rapid image recognition AI is a cornerstone of human-machine interaction and a necessity on the battlefield. The kind of robots that can find paths through undeveloped terrain can be used to deliver supplies and medical aid to undeveloped regions of the world. Even cruise missiles could have their warheads removed and replaced with medical supplies to drop disaster relief anywhere in the world in 20 minutes or less.
What I really think is this: No amount of petition or public outcry is going to stop the development of AI weapon systems. Instead of making futile attempts to prevent them, we should all engage with their development so that we can guide it in such a way that isn't disastrous, and eventually becomes a beneficial human endeavor.