We all know that robots can be produced en masse and programmed to kill. According to robot expert Noel Sharkey, who spoke at the UK's leading defense study institution, RUSI, 4,000 robots were deployed in the Iraq War, but they were all "dumb machines with very limited sensing capability." Apparently, they can't tell the difference between civilians and terrorists. Not very useful. But the next generation will be an improvement.
The US will be spending a whopping $24 billion on unmanned systems technology by 2013, and I'm guessing that at least a fraction of this cost is going towards robot intelligence—i.e. programming them to figure out who to kill, what weapon to use, and when to take one for the team. Plus we've just gotten word of a security warning about a new generation of robot armies hailing from countries like India, China, Israel, and Russia. This could be the forecast of a serious all-out bot-on-bot international war. Stay tuned. Image by Foster Miller
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