Robotic technology is on the rise like never before and nowhere is this trend more stark than in the military arena.
With billions-of-dollar aerial drones like the MQ-9 Reaper & MQ-1 Predator now actively deployed over the battlefield and others soon to be inhabiting the civilian skies above our heads, along with more terrestrial examples like the Foster-Miller Talon, the soon to arrive XM1219 Armed Robotic Vehicle and numerous others in testing and on the drawing board one thing is certain – the lion's share of our scientific & engineering talent on Earth today is being applied in a manner that is doing little if anything to aid the collective wellbeing of humanity and worse is siphoning untold quantities of precious & limited resources away from addressing the areas that are truly imperiling our species' survival.*
This Fault Lines special on the exponentially increasing mechanization of the battlefield – and not without coincidence the inexorable sunsetting of our men & women in uniform via technological unemployment – charts the moral & ethical minefield that is now opening before us.
Will we realize in time the folly of venturing out into such perilous territory and intelligently redirect our vast shared abilities for our mutual benefit OR blindly follow the mad logic of brinkmanship conditioned into us by our forebears that will be our inevitable undoing?
Only time will tell...
Fault Lines – Robot Wars
For more on the topic of robots, mechanization & AI see some of the amazing breakthroughs being made by Honda's ASIMO team as well as these two presentations outlining more of the dramatic shifts coming our way.