|01-03-2008, 03:34 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Automated killer robots 'threat to humanity'
Watch video here:
The future is now.
If I read this article 10 years ago I would have thaught that it was a satire. Now it is a present danger.
Cool Raw: Army’s New ‘Crusher’ Robot Tests the Tough Terrain
Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.
"They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.
Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world -- from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones -- can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.
There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.
The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.
But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.
It we are not careful, he said, that could change.
Military leaders "are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war," he said.
Several countries, led by the United States, have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.
South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.
Washington plans to spend four billion dollars by 2010 on unmanned technology systems, with total spending expected rise to 24 billion, according to the Department of Defense's Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2032, released in December.
James Canton, an expert on technology innovation and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts that deployment within a decade of detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.
The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, said Sharkey.
Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.
But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.
"I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me," Sharkey said.
Ronald Arkin of Georgia Institute of Technology, who has worked closely with the US military on robotics, agrees that the shift towards autonomy will be gradual.
But he is not convinced that robots don't have a place on the front line.
"Robotics systems may have the potential to out-perform humans from a perspective of the laws of war and the rules of engagement," he told a conference on technology in warfare at Stanford University last month.
The sensors of intelligent machines, he argued, may ultimately be better equipped to understand an environment and to process information. "And there are no emotions that can cloud judgement, such as anger," he added.
Nor is there any inherent right to self-defence.
For now, however, there remain several barriers to the creation and deployment of Terminator-like killing machines.
Some are technical. Teaching a computer-driven machine -- even an intelligent one -- how to distinguish between civilians and combatants, or how to gauge a proportional response as mandated by the Geneva Conventions, is simply beyond the reach of artificial intelligence today.
But even if technical barriers are overcome, the prospect of armies increasingly dependent on remotely-controlled or autonomous robots raises a host of ethical issues that have barely been addressed.
Arkin points out that the US Department of Defense's 230 billion dollar Future Combat Systems programme -- the largest military contract in US history -- provides for three classes of aerial and three land-based robotics systems.
"But nowhere is there any consideration of the ethical implications of the weaponisation of these systems," he said.
For Sharkey, the best solution may be an outright ban on autonomous weapons systems. "We have to say where we want to draw the line and what we want to do -- and then get an international agreement," he said.
|01-03-2008, 07:02 AM||#2|
Join Date: Feb 2008
My first idea would be to hide upstairs, second is to develop a gun that would fire a paint stripper/water/degreasant substance onto these machines to make them sieze up. (If they are made of metal that corrodes). Thirdly a gun that fires bolts into the tracks to stop movement. Perhaps a high powered crossbow that fires steel bolts? Fourth, use of digging equipment for ditches and traps.
Hopefully some bored hackers will realise that time flying model aircraft and playing computer games wasn't all in vain and take control of these machines for the use for good.......NOT evil!
I'm sure others will have far better ideas, perhaps ones about stopping their manufacture in the first place.....which I think this site is all about.
|01-03-2008, 07:08 AM||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2007
You did notice the range of these things... over a mile isn't it? And also remember the 'Active Denial' technology which will keep people well away from them. Best bet might be holes and traps!
|04-03-2008, 08:08 AM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Israeli Drones a Deadly Weapon
Palestinians call drones a deadly weapon
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinians say they know when an Israeli drone is in the air: Cell phones stop working, TV reception falters and they can hear a distant buzzing. They also know what's likely to come next — a devastating explosion on the ground.
Palestinians say Israel's pilotless planes have been a major weapon in its latest offensive in Gaza, which has killed nearly 120 people since last week.
"Our experience is that the drone missile is successful in hitting its targets, and it's deadly," said Dr. Mahmoud Assali, a Palestinian physician who works in the emergency room of a northern Gaza Strip hospital that has often treated Palestinian gunmen hit by Israeli drones.
"The drone has a zone of around 15 meters (50 feet) where it decimates everything. It targets people and leaves them in pieces," Assali said.
Israel is at the forefront of the drone technology that is increasingly being used in hotspots around the world. The unmanned craft provide a deadly and cost-effective alternative for armies to target enemies, without risking their own pilots' lives and reducing civilian casualties in heavily populated areas.
The unmanned craft are guided by remote control from the ground. Because of their small size and relatively low speed, their low-yield missiles can be aimed precisely.
The use of drones is shrouded in secrecy, and Israeli defense officials refuse to comment publicly on whether they are being used in airstrikes in Gaza. However, Israeli officers in private conversations have confirmed use of the weapons.
Wary Gaza militants using binoculars are on constant lookout for drones. When one is sighted overhead, the militants report via walkie-talkie to their comrades, warning them to turn off their cell phones and remove the batteries for fear the Israeli technology will trace their whereabouts.
A militant from the southern Gaza Strip who belongs to the Islamic Jihad group said drones were mostly used to target individuals, and not structures. He said they often hovered at much higher altitudes than manned aircraft and their missiles were frequently more destructive, leaving deep gashes where they landed.
The militant said the drones usually targeted slow-moving targets, like people walking, or cars slowing down to avoid potholes in a road.
"It looks like it makes small circles in the sky, but before it's about to fire a missile, it slows down," the militant said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared being identified by Israel. "It's not like any other plane. You don't see the missile leaving, it's very quiet."
Damian Kemp, an aviation desk editor at Jane's Defence Weekly, said Israel is probably the first country in the world to use unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for both surveillance and to fire missiles. Israel is a world leader in the field and "capable of doing everything from the very small to the very large," he said.
He said drones were likely more accurate, cost-effective and safer than manned F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters.
"The key thing in a UAV is it does missions that are dull, dirty and dangerous," Kemp said. "They can be up there for a long time and in areas where you don't need to put a pilot at risk."
Jaber Wishah, deputy director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said his group has received reports about drones firing missiles for more than three years.
"The kind of missile — from the shrapnel we've gathered — appears to be small," Wishah said. "But do we have documentation, photographs of a drone? We don't."
Israel has long been considered the world leader in drone technology and proudly exhibits its products at international air shows. But it maintains its drones are for surveillance purposes, and refuses to confirm using them in airstrikes.
Doron Suslik, a top official at the Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures drones, said the company has customers from all over the world, including Switzerland, France and India, with annual sales of $500 million to $600 million.
He refused to divulge the drone's military capabilities, citing his clients' desire for confidentiality. Government and army officials also refused to comment on the drone's firing capabilities.
Israel has used unmanned aircraft since the early 1970s, and its fleet has steadily increased. Air force officials say drones have become such an integral part of Israel's air power that their flight hours now outnumber those of manned fighter planes.
Last March, Israel unveiled its largest unmanned aircraft to date at a seaside air force base in central Israel. The Heron, with a 54-foot wingspan, can fly for up to 30 hours at a speed of 140 mph and a height of 30,000 feet.
Kemp of Jane's Defence Weekly, said a newer version, the Heron TP, was unveiled in June in Paris. With a wingspan of 85 feet, it can fly for as long as 36 hours and carry a maximum payload of 2,200 pounds.
The U.S. Army has used drones such as the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper for airstrikes against al-Qaida commanders and other militants in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. drones have also reportedly killed militants in Pakistan and Yemen.
U.S.-made Predators are a common sight in the skies of Baghdad, equipped with cameras, sensors and radar that can capture video and still images.
The U.S. Air Force operates a fleet of roughly 100 Predators. The CIA also uses the aircraft and was closely involved in its development. It provides almost real-time, full-motion video and is remotely piloted — Air Force pilots control and operate the aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas.
The Reaper is four times heavier than the Predator, can fly twice as fast and twice as high.
In January, a missile fired from a Predator killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al-Qaida commander, in Pakistan's lawless tribal region of north Waziristan. Coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have launched a number of missile strikes from drones against Taliban and al-Qaida militants hiding on the Pakistani side of the border, but the U.S. military has never confirmed them.
Last edited by cruise4; 04-03-2008 at 08:14 AM.
|05-03-2008, 02:42 AM||#10|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northern Europe... Denmark
I had a teacher a few years ago, and he went to war in the middle east as a high ranking something in the military, but before he went he showed us a copy of some of the stuff the US army had at their disposal.
This was back in 2003-2004, and back then they already had automated aerial killer robots. I dont think he was meant to be showing it to us. I dont think we were allowed to copy it unfortunately.
I have been looking for them since though, anyone who can find pictures of the flying robots? As I read it, they should work as a long range flying sniper.
|05-03-2008, 04:42 AM||#11|
Join Date: Apr 2007
DARPA's Networked Swarm Spacecrafts
Boeing to Design New DARPA's Networked Swarm Spacecrafts
Start buying Cold War nuclear shelters and piling up the canned food, because Boeing Advanced Systems has started System F6, "DARPA's Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information Exchange space technology program." In other words: multiple, networked specialized spacecraft swarms that are intelligent enough to perform a single coordinated task together, like analyzing the crops or deciding to destroy humanity, Skynet-style. Actually, it could completely change satellites for the better, according to some experts:
French space scientist P. Molette said, in his 1984 article on fractionated spacecrafts, that they may lead us to more flexible and robust satellites systems.
In his paper, Molette concluded that even while fractionated spacecraft will have overall higher mass and cost than traditional satellites, these penalties will be outweighed by the advantages of having modules mass-produced and launched into space, which would introduce the same economies of scale and efficiency that PC clusters have over supercomputers.
Boeing Advance Systems will put the concept into practice, under DARPA System F6 program:
Boeing Among Industry Teams Selected to Design New DARPA Space System ST. LOUIS, March 04, 2008 -- A team led by Boeing [NYSE: BA] has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to demonstrate initial technologies for a new spacecraft system architecture concept.
A $12,891,049 cost-plus-fixed-fee, 12-month Phase 1 contract was awarded to Boeing Advanced Systems to research, design, develop and test DARPA's Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information Exchange (System F6) space technology and demonstration program.
The DARPA System F6 is based on a concept whereby a group of spacecraft operate together wirelessly as a single unit to enable flexible data sharing and distributed processing that will allow cooperative communications among the spacecraft. This concept of multiple spacecraft operating together to perform a mission similar to that of a single larger spacecraft is known as "fractionation."
"We believe the fractionation spacecraft concept proposed by our team can be a game-changer that could provide the high degree of flexibility needed for responsive space missions," said Bob Friend, director for Boeing Operationally Responsive Space.
The objective of the DARPA System F6 is to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of a satellite architecture wherein the functionality of a single spacecraft is replaced by a cluster of wirelessly interconnected spacecraft that could perform a wider variety of tasks than single systems. Along with potential increases in flexibility, this technology also may reduce overall program costs.
The team led by Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems, Huntington Beach, Calif., includes L-3 Communications Interstate Electronics, Anaheim, Calif.; Millennium Space Systems, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Octant Technologies, San Jose, Calif.; and Science Applications International Corp., Torrance, Calif.
Expected for completion by Feb. 20, 2009, Phase 1 will culminate in an F6 Preliminary Design Review that evaluates each industry team's concept.
There you have it: phase 1 completed on February 20 2009, less than one year for actual nuclear holocaust or cheaper, more efficient sats. [Boeing and Wikipedia]