DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s

From 1983 to 1993 DARPA spent over $1 billion on a program called the Strategic Computing Initiative. The agency's goal was to push the boundaries of computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics to build something that, in hindsight, looks strikingly similar to the dystopian future of the Terminator movies. They… » 12/18/13 6:50pm 12/18/13 6:50pm

Air Force Plans Fully Armed, Fully Autonomous Robot Plane

It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. And, also, the U.S. Air Force is thinking of building a few of them - unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability, armed… » 9/23/08 8:00am 9/23/08 8:00am

Zephyr Shatters Robot Plane Endurance Record

The U.S. military wants to have robotic eyes in the sky constantly roving and watching what goes on below, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They might achieve that capability very soon, as a test vehicle called the Zephyr just obliterated the old endurance record for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), nearly tripling… » 8/27/08 8:00am 8/27/08 8:00am

Global Hawk Sets Robot-Plane Endurance Record

An RQ-4 Global Hawk broke the world record for unrefueled flight endurance by a full-scale uncrewed aircraft in a test at Edwards Air Force Base last week, staying aloft for 33.1 hours at altitudes approaching 60,000 feet. The Northrop-Grumman built plane costs $28 million each - there are currently three of them in… » 4/01/08 1:20pm 4/01/08 1:20pm

Will We Hold Robots Accountable for War Crimes?

Now that the military is using autonomous surveillance/combat robots created by iRobot, the company behind the Roomba robot vacuum, a strange question emerges: What do we do if a robot commits a war crime? This isn't idle speculation. An automated anti-aircraft cannon's friendly fire killed nine soldiers in South… » 1/17/08 1:00pm 1/17/08 1:00pm