Monday, March 14, 2016

Report Warns that Autonomous Weapons in Action Could be Rendered Uncontrollable

By John Markoff, New York Times

A new report written by a former Pentagon official who helped establish United States policy on autonomous weapons argues that such weapons could be uncontrollable in real-world environments where they are subject to design failure as well as hacking, spoofing and manipulation by adversaries.

In recent years, low-cost sensors and new artificial intelligence technologies have made it increasingly practical to design weapons systems that make killing decisions without human intervention. The specter of so-called killer robots has touched off an international protest movement and a debate within the United Nations about limiting the development and deployment of such systems.

The new report was written by Paul Scharre, who directs a program on the future of warfare at the Center for a New American Security, a policy research group in Washington, D.C. From 2008 to 2013, Scharre worked in the office of the Secretary of Defense, where he helped establish U.S. policy on unmanned and autonomous weapons. He was one of the authors of a 2013 Defense Department directive that set military policy on the use of such systems.

In the report, titled “Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk” (pdf), set to be published on Monday, Scharre warns about a range of real-world risks associated with weapons systems that are completely autonomous.

Read the rest here


Oh, you thought Samsung only made Phones, TV's, Tablets, Appliances, and Cameras ????


Anonymous said...

If there is a way to do something stupid that gets a lot of good people killed or maimed, you can depend on the officer corp to find it. Pentagon R&D is worse.---Ray

Glen Filthie said...

What do you think of this, Stackz? You have been in harm's way, right?

I am a shithouse expert on motion control and data acquisition and know enough to be dangerous about programming - and a little perspective is in order here.

If you Yanks can put a man on the moon with a computer less complex than the one in your cell phone, and design jets that take off like helicopters and don't need runways...you can design a robot that can't be spoofed or hacked. Hell, you guys made an aerodynamic abortion like the V22 fly - and fly well! All the stuff I see is old tech too...the cutting edge stuff is carefully under wraps.

A machine doesn't get fatigued. A machine doesn't get buck fever or PTSD, or adrenaline rushes. Unless you 'brain pan' it - a machine can still 'think' and process information when parts of it are blown away in combat.

Oh sure - Hollywood has hyped the shit out of the Terminator and such...but you have to remember that those idiots also had Van Damme, Arnie and Bruce Willis blowing up buses with one shot from a 9mm.

Yes, there will be mishaps - count on it. There always are in emerging technologies...but overall? These machines will save lives in the long run. The V22 Osprey used to eat crews and Marines alive...now they are a mainstay in the arsenal and for good reasons.

But I suppose it is easy to sing the praises of high tech so long as it isn't your own sack on the chopping block. There are going to be some very interesting developments soon.