Monday, January 26, 2009

The Robots Are Already Here

Holy frackin' frijoles! Remember this day as the one when you were told that the Martix-Terminator warnings have been ignored.

Read this story by P.W. Singer (h/t Sullivan):
The irony is that for all the claims by military, political, and scientific leaders that “humans will always be in the loop,” as far back as 2004 the U.S. Army was carrying out research that demonstrated the merits of armed ground robots equipped with a "quick-draw response." Similarly, a 2006 study by the Defense Safety Working Group, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, discussed how the concerns over potential killer robots could be allayed by giving "armed autonomous systems" permission to "shoot to destroy hostile weapons systems but not suspected combatants." That is, they could shoot at tanks and jeeps, just not the people in them. Perhaps most telling is a report that the Joint Forces Command drew up in 2005, which suggested that autonomous robots on the battlefield would be the norm within 20 years. Its title is somewhat amusing, given the official line one usually hears: Unmanned Effects: Taking the Human Out of the Loop.

So, despite what one article called "all the lip service paid to keeping a human in the loop," auton­omous armed robots are coming to war. They simply make too much sense to the people who matter.
This is happening, even with the Onion proposing the absurdity of it all (Scientists Abandon AI Project After Seeing The Matrix). Foolish earthlings!

Pic from here.

No comments: