Pentagon research in artificial intelligence moves us closer to robot wars

Human-robot strike teams, autonomous land mines, and covert swarms of minuscule robotic spies: the US Department of Defense’s idea of the future of war seems like a sci-fi movie.

In a report that dreams of new ways to destroy adversaries and protect American assets in equal portions, the DOD’s science research division cements the idea that artificial intelligence and autonomous robotic systems will be a crucial part of the nation’s ongoing defense strategy.

US military already uses a host of robotic systems in the battlefield, from reconnaissance and attack drones to bomb disposal robots. However, these are all remotely-piloted systems, meaning a human has a high level of control over the machine’s actions at all times.

The new DOD report sees tactical advantages from humans and purely self-driven machines working together in the field. In one scenario, a swarm of autonomous drones would flock above a combat zone to jam enemy communications, provide real-time surveillance of the area, and autonomously fire against the enemy.

Might be satisfying to some to presume our robots are only killing their robots. Kind of like believing that hacker techniques are only used by the NSA, FBI, etc., to spy on other folks in other countries.

Wishful thinking.

6 thoughts on “Pentagon research in artificial intelligence moves us closer to robot wars

    • List of X says:

      If it makes you feel better, before you woke up you’ve been living on a kind and gentle planet that used nuclear weapons, then built about 20000 more of them, and industrialized genocide. So it’s that strange, considering our past.

  1. Crush. Kill. Destroy! says:

    “A surface vessel just commanded a submarine to launch an aircraft – all unmanned : The world’s first multi-domain autonomous, unmanned vehicle chain” http://arstechnica.com/cars/2016/10/a-surface-vessel-just-commanded-a-submarine-to-launch-an-aircraft-all-unmanned/
    …upon receiving a command order from Submaran, Marlin transited to a launch site, then surfaced and released a Vector Hawk, which proceeded to undertake an ISR mission. The AUV re-submerged while the UAV transmitted EO and IR video to the USV, which relayed the images to a ground station. All three autonomous vehicles communicated their operational status to the onshore meatbags in order to give them a sense of commanding and controlling each ‘asset’. At present, these unmanned platforms are posited as ISR tools, not active strike or defense platforms. But when they inevitably morph into weaponized craft further chain-of-command, questions will arise.

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