Robots Trained To Fire On People
2009 08 13

By David Mantey | pddnet.com


It’s a Star Wars dream or nightmare depending on whom you side with. Personally, I’m going to have to side against anything proihuman annihilation. But it seems like the dark side always has the more advanced weaponry.

Among the many calls for action by the panel of industry experts August 5 at NIWeek in Austin, TX, a few tidbits of info caught my attention and caused spastic Terminator-esque doomsday scenarios in my mind.

I can’t be held responsible, the panel brought up the subject. Apparently, one question that Dr. David Barrett, director of the Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE) at Olin College often fields, relates to human vs. droid futuristic scenarios that don’t stray far from the basic plot behind the Terminator franchise.

The subject sprang up as a result of a question from the audience that boiled down to the ethical debate in innovation. How do we know if/when we’ve gone too far? Would we know or would it be too late?

Essentially, the panelists stated that technology is a tool, and like any tool, it comes with great responsibility. Hearing the Yoda bubble to the top? Luckily, the panel brought it back down to earth by adding … but don’t be naïve.

As long as we have innovators striving towards the utopian greater good, we cannot refute the fact that others are working just as hard – if not harder – to counteract any good we try and add to this planet in our 80-odd years on board.

The crowd was coming to terms with the current cloud lurking over our sunshine and lollipop naivety when Ellen Purdy, enterprise director of joint ground robotics for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), appropriately added that the autonomous weapon is coming.

While Purdy stated that the DoD didn’t have a hand in financing or developing the project, she was aware of “robots trained [programmed] to fire on people.” Suddenly, I don’t feel nearly as qualified to battle a droid army as I did when my brothers and I pushed a battalion back into my father’s field and successfully defended the Eagle’s Nest with canes, bats and two sticks tied to the ends of a broken swing that served as a custom nunchuck.

The implications of the evil genius. I suppose that if we’re equipping kids with programming software along with their LEGO sets, it’s not too far of a reach to discuss a hobbyist who builds a robotic guard dog that snipes trespassers.

Specifics weren’t given, but the sometimes grim undeniable candor from the panel was chilling. Then again, are we not just as foolish when we turn a blind eye? When new ground in robotics, or any new technology, is broken, it’s ludicrous to sit back and say, “You know what? I have a good feeling about this vision system – I’m sure nobody would try to program it to recognize and annihilate a human.”

We have a divide when it comes to thinking whether or not we should when we’re gripped with the excitement of challenging ourselves to see whether or not we could.

When asked her opinion on the subject, Jeanne Dietsch, CEO and cofounder of MobileRobots, was concise. “Do we have anything to worry about?” The question echoed through the ballroom as we awaited her reply. She answered, “Yes.”

boston.com Robot Images

defensetech.org on drones

Source: pddnet.com



Related Articles
Robots, Cyborgs & A.I.
Upcoming Military Robot Could Feed on Dead Bodies
Transgressive technologies: Does a posthuman dystopia await us?
Israel: Military Robot Snake (Video)
Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that 'won't commit war crimes'


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »