Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Don't Worry, It's Coming

ExampleAccording to a NY Times article, the future of our Armed Forces is with robots. Well, I guess that solves the draft problem.

A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to the Battlefield:

The American military is working on a new generation of soldiers, far different from the army it has.

"They don't get hungry," said Gordon Johnson of the Joint Forces Command at the Pentagon. "They're not afraid. They don't forget their orders. They don't care if the guy next to them has just been shot. Will they do a better job than humans? Yes."

The robot soldier is coming.

The Pentagon predicts that robots will be a major fighting force in the American military in less than a decade, hunting and killing enemies in combat. Robots are a crucial part of the Army's effort to rebuild itself as a 21st-century fighting force, and a $127 billion project called Future Combat Systems is the biggest military contract in American history.

The military plans to invest tens of billions of dollars in automated armed forces. The costs of that transformation will help drive the Defense Department's budget up almost 20 percent, from a requested $419.3 billion for next year to $502.3 billion in 2010, excluding the costs of war. The annual costs of buying new weapons is scheduled to rise 52 percent, from $78 billion to $118.6 billion.

Military planners say robot soldiers will think, see and react increasingly like humans. In the beginning, they will be remote-controlled, looking and acting like lethal toy trucks. As the technology develops, they may take many shapes. And as their intelligence grows, so will their autonomy.

The robot soldier has been a dream at the Pentagon for 30 years. And some involved in the work say it may take at least 30 more years to realize in full. Well before then, they say, the military will have to answer tough questions if it intends to trust robots with the responsibility of distinguishing friend from foe, combatant from bystander.Example

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/16/technology/16robots.html?ex=1109221200&en=dea58784dfc8c2f8&ei=5065&partner=MYWAY

84 Comments:

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Patrick Anderson said...

Interesting post. Robotic warfare is inevitable. Countries with the technology and the industrial capability of producing these machines will influence the balance of world power. Machine tool production is a valid way to measure this capability. Notice how the World Machine Tool Production rankings compare with a ranking of the worlds 10 most powerful nations:

http://www.bimu-sfortec.com/bimu/_tpl/visual_lib.cfm?DocDbId=1&ObjectId=848&TypeLink=semplice&folder=ita

World Rankings in Machine Tool Production

Japan Euro 7,000 million 21.8%
Germany 6,660 20.8%
Italy 3,678 11.5%
China 2,500 8.1%
USA 1,954
Taiwan 1,825
S. Korea 1,820
Switzlnd 1,500
Spain 836
France 673



http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-powerful-countries-map.html


Worlds 10 Most Powerful Nations
USA
Germany
France
UK
Japan
Canada
Sweden
China
Norway
Netherlands

Something to think about: over 46% of the machine tool production is in Asia.

The U.S. is a distant 5th.

The top 3 are all countries we defeated and helped rebuild in WWII.

Germany ranks 2nd on both lists.

 
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This is really scary and makes me sad. Why are we investing so much time, money and resources into killing machines? Where is our sense of humanity?

 
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