Thursday, January 22, 2009

Robots of war

Here is an absolutely fascinating but totally frightening Fresh Air interview about robots of war. This will remind you of (fill in your favorite sci-fi film here). More disturbingly, it also reminded me of Ender's Game (great - but also a disturbing book). Teenage video gamers are apparently not only the best drone pilots - but they are also teaching others. Also check out the end of the interview about the consequences for democracy and legal issues. Here is the description of the interview:
Robot soldiers are no longer just the stuff of sci-fi fantasy. As technological warfare expert P.W. Singer explains in his new book, Wired For War, some military tasks previously assigned to humans are now being handled by machines.

But, says Singer, the new technological battleground — in which robots fly spy planes and search out IEDs — raises a host of ethical and legal quandaries.

Singer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His previous books include Corporate Warriors and Children at War.

Now here to lighten the mood a bit: Check out this very cool evolution of robots video - won't mind if all robots end up looking like that (tip from badastronomy):