Friday, November 14, 2014

"I have seen the future, it is murder"

Smarter Weapons
Long Range Anti-Ship Missile
Designed to Maneuver without Human Control
Photo Credit: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Speaking of the Singularity and Deep Learning, let's listen to what John Markoff has to say on "Fearing Bombs That Can Pick Whom to Kill" (NYT, November 11, 2014):
On a bright fall day last year off the coast of Southern California, an Air Force B-1 bomber launched an experimental missile . . . . Initially, pilots aboard the plane directed the missile, but halfway to its destination, it severed communication with its operators. Alone, without human oversight, the missile decided which of three ships to attack . . . . Warfare is increasingly guided by software . . . . [S]ome scientists say, arms makers have crossed into troubling territory: They are developing weapons that rely on artificial intelligence, not human instruction, to decide what to target . . . . As these weapons become smarter and nimbler, critics fear they will become increasingly difficult for humans to control - or to defend against . . . . After launch, so-called autonomous weapons rely on artificial intelligence and sensors to select targets . . . . Britain's "fire and forget" Brimstone missiles, for example, can distinguish among tanks and cars and buses without human assistance, and can hunt targets in a predesignated region without oversight. The Brimstones also communicate with one another, sharing their targets . . . . In recent years, artificial intelligence has begun to supplant human decision-making in a variety of fields, . . . [b]ut technological advances [are occurring] in three particular areas[, namely, in] . . . [n]ew types of radar, laser and infrared sensors[, all of which] are helping missiles and drones better calculate their position and orientation. "Machine vision," resembling that of humans, identifies patterns in images and helps weapons distinguish important targets. This nuanced sensory information can be quickly interpreted by sophisticated artificial intelligence systems, enabling a missile or drone to carry out its own analysis in flight.
Reading of such technological developments, I can almost imagine the reality of the Terminator movies' dystopian vision of a future ruled by military machines!

This is the future . . .

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At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been here before.
These references are very much about this topic.
The first was written in response to the Kosovo crisis - it was reworked in response to Sept 11.

The various themes of the above essay were expanded upon, and added to in the book introduced here:

These references provide some unique background perspectives on the origins of this situation:

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, but this would work better if you followed the instructions on linking . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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