Advertisements

Surrender, non-cooperative human

So, the Pentagon recently put out a request for proposals for a new project – pretty standard stuff really, software and sensor package, blah blah blah, pack of robots designed to hunt down human beings, etc etc…hold it one damn second. Pack of robots designed to hunt down human beings???

SHORT SHARP SCIENCE reports:

One thing that really bugs defence chiefs is having their troops diverted from other duties to control robots. So having a pack of them controlled by one person makes logistical sense. But I’m concerned about where this technology will end up.

Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? I asked two experts on automated weapons what they thought…

Both were concerned that packs of robots would be entrusted with tasks – and weapons – they were not up to handling without making wrong decisions.

Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. “The giveaway here is the phrase ‘a non-cooperative human subject’,” he told me: “What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.”

[…]

robot pack

Another commentator often in the news for his views on military robot autonomy is Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield. He says he can understand why the military want such technology, but also worries it will be used irresponsibly.

“This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner.”

The Pentagon describes the final phase of the project as follows: “PHASE III: Robots that can intelligently and autonomously search for objects have potential commercialization within search and rescue, fire fighting, reconnaissance, and automated biological, chemical and radiation sensing with mobile platforms.”

Woefully incomplete. They left out the part about “hunting down those pesky, meddling Scientologists like Will Smith and Tom Cruise. Don’t try to hide in the bathtub, TC! Our futuristic robot pack will Tase the shit out of you!”

Advertisements

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: