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Here comes the future

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by BuckeyeSoldier, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. BuckeyeSoldier

    BuckeyeSoldier 2 time Reigning BuckeyePlanet Poker Champion

    A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to the Battlefield

    </NYT_HEADLINE><NYT_BYLINE type=" " version="1.0">[size=-1]By TIM WEINER [/size]
    Published: February 16, 2005


    [​IMG]he 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.

    Even the strongest advocates of automatons say war will always be a human endeavor, with death and disaster. And supporters like Robert Finkelstein, president of Robotic Technology in Potomac, Md., are telling the Pentagon it could take until 2035 to develop a robot that looks, thinks and fights like a soldier. The Pentagon's "goal is there," he said, "but the path is not totally clear."

    Robots in battle, as envisioned by their builders, may look and move like humans or hummingbirds, tractors or tanks, cockroaches or crickets. With the development of nanotechnology - the science of very small structures - they may become swarms of "smart dust." The Pentagon intends for robots to haul munitions, gather intelligence, search buildings or blow them up.

    All these are in the works, but not yet in battle. Already, however, several hundred robots are digging up roadside bombs in Iraq, scouring caves in Afghanistan and serving as armed sentries at weapons depots.

    By April, an armed version of the bomb-disposal robot will be in Baghdad, capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. Though controlled by a soldier with a laptop, the robot will be the first thinking machine of its kind to take up a front-line infantry position, ready to kill enemies.

    "The real world is not Hollywood," said Rodney A. Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at M.I.T. and a co-founder of the iRobot Corporation. "Right now we have the first few robots that are actually useful to the military."

    Despite the obstacles, Congress ordered in 2000 that a third of the ground vehicles and a third of deep-strike aircraft in the military must become robotic within a decade. If that mandate is to be met, the United States will spend many billions of dollars on military robots by 2010.

    As the first lethal robots head for Iraq, the role of the robot soldier as a killing machine has barely been debated. The history of warfare suggests that every new technological leap - the longbow, the tank, the atomic bomb - outraces the strategy and doctrine to control it.

    "The lawyers tell me there are no prohibitions against robots making life-or-death decisions," said Mr. Johnson, who leads robotics efforts at the Joint Forces Command research center in Suffolk, Va. "I have been asked what happens if the robot destroys a school bus rather than a tank parked nearby. We will not entrust a robot with that decision until we are confident they can make it."

    Trusting robots with potentially lethal decision-making may require a leap of faith in technology not everyone is ready to make. Bill Joy, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has worried aloud that 21st-century robotics and nanotechnology may become "so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses."

    Here we come Mr. Terminator...
  2. exhawg

    exhawg Mirror Guy Staff Member

    This is how it starts.

  3. rocketman

    rocketman flying low

    What really scares me and at the same time is just so incredibly amazing is nanotechnology. The technology that can essentially evolve our way of life to incredible heights has the same power to wipe out all life on this planet.

    It makes you wonder if the developers of this technology take Hollywood and crackpot theories seriously, thus putting safeguards in place so they will never happen.

    Nanotechnology is much, much closer than we think. Samsung made breakthroughs in the technology needed to fabricate nanomachines. Inject a couple cc's of nanomachines into a patient with high cholesterol, and these bugs will break down the plaque buildup inside the walls of the patient's arteries. There, we've cured heart disease. Nanomachines could detect cancerous cells and destroy them immediately before they spread, or even before they become malignant. There, we've cured cancer.
  4. methomps

    methomps an imbecility, a stupidity without name

    If a robot ends up killing Osama Bin Laden, will it write a book about it? I don't know that Oprah would like that. Kind of like the yodeling in Mars Attacks, I suspect the kryptonite for these robots would be an Ashlee Simpson concert.

    I think the first killing robot we should build should look like a young boy so it can attract those NAMBLA people. However, before it kills the pervert, the robot should allow the guy to say his last words so the ACLU folks won't complain about freedom of speech

    Sounds fun, but can nanotechnology cure the overcrowding that will result from eliminating disease? Or is that where the killing robot comes in?
  5. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    once the nanobots cure your disease they head to your brain and muscles and work them for you till you are a finely tuned machine. then you go crazy and kill people...thus controlling the population. much like tape worms.

    thats what happened to this guy...except for the killing part.
  6. BuckeyeTillIDie

    BuckeyeTillIDie The North Remembers

    The future of law enforcement?

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