More than 30,000 drones (nimble, remote-controlled military aerial vehicles) are projected to be airborne by 2020 — and that's only the ones flying within American borders. As drones have evolved, the Pentagon has announced increased expansion of its drone fleet while cutting troop levels. Tonight's symposium on “Drones and Robotic Warfare” will either relieve or increase your fears, as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) expert Eric Johnson discusses the facts of the matter with Patrick Lin, director of the Ethics & Emerging Sciences Group at Cal Poly, and UCLA's John Villasenor, a senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. Soul kisses in our ongoing love affair with technology: swift, missile-bearing Predators and Reapers; the Taranis, a long-range stealth drone; and the 6-pound Switchblade, which can annihilate a selected target as small as a man with little collateral damage. Drones are a $6 billion industry whose presence raises more questions than it answers. Can the industry remain ethical about surveillance? Can privacy rights survive in a culture of suspicion? Sarah Connor? Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Westwood; Tues., July 24, 7:30 p.m., free. (310) 443-7000,

Tue., July 24, 7:30 p.m., 2012

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