Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Robotics The Military

Only Twice Have Nations Banned a Weapon Before It Was Used; They May Do It Again 318

Lasrick writes: Seth Baum reports on international efforts to ban 'killer robots' before they are used. China, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are apparently developing precursor technology. "Fully autonomous weapons are not unambiguously bad. They can reduce burdens on soldiers. Already, military robots are saving many service members' lives, for example by neutralizing improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq. The more capabilities military robots have, the more they can keep soldiers from harm. They may also be able to complete missions that soldiers and non-autonomous weapons cannot." But Baum, who founded the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, goes on to outline the potential downsides, and there are quite a few.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Only Twice Have Nations Banned a Weapon Before It Was Used; They May Do It Again

Comments Filter:
  • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:01PM (#49116073)

    To welcome our new Killer Robot overlords.

    • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:21PM (#49116203)

      Fred Saberhagen's Berserkers [wikipedia.org] come to mind.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:53PM (#49116381) Journal
      Meh. Each killbot comes with a preset kill limit. The tactic is to send wave after wave of men against them until they shut down.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I hear that the best defence against them is to build shooting towers in intricate patterns where the waves need to cross large fields...

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      To welcome our new Killer Robot overlords.

      Silence meatbag.

    • Whoever modded the 1st post "redundant", need his mod privileges revoked...
      • Those of use who have been coming here for a while understand perfectly well why its redundant. We're sick and tired of hearing the 12+ year old joke over and over.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          You have to understand. Brad is old and forgets things. You can tell by his user ID. So to him, these jokes aren't redundant, it's like they're bran....hang on, what were we talking about?
  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:03PM (#49116085) Homepage Journal

    When you are able to keep hackers from defacing your national websites.

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      This is probably why 'they' would want it banned; purely because it's a weapon that they can't guarantee control over, or can't guarantee that they can counter this technology. So it would make sense to use diplomacy to try to make sure no one uses it.
      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:03PM (#49116421)

        This is probably why 'they' would want it banned

        "They" don't want it banned. The people pushing the ban are some fringe NGOs, not people with actual power. "They" (the people with power) are developing killer-bots are quickly as they can.

        Even if a ban was a good idea in principle (I am not sure it is), I don't see how it could possibly be enforced. Building a killer droid doesn't require any special technology that non-killer droids don't also use.

        • How are any rules of war enforced? And yet we have them and they are largely, if not universally, obeyed. The article even gives two examples in the first paragraph.

          • The winners always get to decide what the rules are and determine if any of them were broken. And as far a following the rules of war goes the US or any other country could summarily execute every "enemy combatant" they get their hands under the rules spelled out in the Geneva Convention.

          • by LordWabbit2 ( 2440804 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @02:57AM (#49117305)
            And yet we have them and they are largely, if not universally, obeyed
            What the hell are you smoking? Not even the US follows the Geneva conventions.
            Guantanamo bay, water boarding, drone strikes on vehicles with "suspected" terrorists without checking if there are children or other non combatants on board.
            I personally think Killer Robot's might be better in the field than some dumb jock with a trigger happy finger, and I don't just lump the US into this category, it's been an on going issue for EVERY army. Friendly fire isn't. [wikipedia.org]
            • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @05:29AM (#49117695)

              I personally think Killer Robot's might be better in the field than some dumb jock with a trigger happy finger, and I don't just lump the US into this category,

              You miss the point. In war you are supposed to spill, and more importantly shed, blood for your country. A bloodless war where only the "enemy" die makes war cheap so the solution to every problem becomes war. You bought weapons from Russia? War. You won't allow us to set up a military base? War. You raised the price of coffee beans by 5c? War. You won't sign our copyright enforcement treaty that we're shoving down your throat? War.

              It is in everyone's best interest that war remain expensive otherwise diplomacy becomes unnecessary and we get to enjoy the New World Order where whoever has the most killer robots controls the entire fucking world on a whim.

              The other applications are only going to get worse. The police are also already rather militarized, I look forward to SWAT being replaced with robots. We can have "non-lethal" security robots everywhere; remember, Big Brother is watching citizen, you are "safe" here.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          Even if a ban was a good idea in principle (I am not sure it is), I don't see how it could possibly be enforced. Building a killer droid doesn't require any special technology that non-killer droids don't also use.

          Enforcement doesn't have to be perfect to be worthwhile. If you look at things like land mines and cluster bombs they have become politically very difficult for developed nations to use, and seen as a sign that the user is evil. I'm sure in the future there will be more killer robots, but you probably won't see most countries creating squads of them or using them too openly.

          The only other option is to create another MAD situation similar to nuclear weapons. Countries will build vast armies of killer robots

    • Killer robots are nothing more than really advanced booby-traps.

      • Yes, land mines were a wonderful advancement in war technology. Just what we all need, children being chased by walking shooting landmines.

        • probably more of a land-mine-layer than a mine itself... unless it's got a pretty gnarly self-destruct sequence and a really low total cost of ownership. Also, I would hope that robots would be equal opportunity killers, slaying all in their path irrespective of age, gender etc... it'd be much simpler code for the IFF module not having to distinguish between short adults and tall kids for example. I wonder what OS they'd run... Windows 11 Terminator edition? Robobuntu?
    • by mi ( 197448 )

      When you are able to keep hackers from defacing your national websites.

      Right. And human soldiers may only be allowed, once all risk of desertions, insurrections, and other military crimes is likewise zeroed.

  • The banned weapons (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:06PM (#49116095)

    "In 1868, the Great Powers agreed under the Saint Petersburg Declaration to ban exploding bullets, which by spreading metal fragments inside a victim’s body could cause more suffering than the regular kind. And the 1995 Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons now has 104 signatories, who have agreed to ban the weapons on the grounds that they could cause excessive suffering to soldiers in the form of permanent blindness."

    Enjoy :)

    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:12PM (#49116149) Journal

      In 1868, the Great Powers agreed under the Saint Petersburg Declaration to ban exploding bullets, which by spreading metal fragments inside a victim’s body could cause more suffering than the regular kind

      Which sounds awesome on paper but is completely meaningless in the real world. NATO's standard rifle cartridge [wikipedia.org] relies on tumbling and fragmentation for its terminal effects. I'm not certain why it matters if a bullet fragments because of a small explosive charge or because of the design of the projectile; the end result is the same.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        From your own source:

        There has been much debate of the allegedly poor performance of the bullet on target, especially the first-shot kill rate when the muzzle velocity of the firearms used and the downrange bullet deceleration do not achieve the minimally required terminal velocity of over 750 m/s (2,500 ft/s) at the target to cause fragmentation.

        Not only are you wrong, you are so wrong that the round is actually criticized for not causing enough damage.

        From what I was told in the service the round was designed to wound not to kill on purpose. If you wound someone, one of their comrades has to drag them back to cover. You thereby take two enemies out of the fight. But hell, what would the armorer know.

        • "If you wound someone, one of their comrades has to drag them back to cover."

          This is not universally true. Sometimes killing is an excellent outcome.

          And then there is the problem of roles. You can wound a MRAP driver and cause problems, but you'll want to kill the sniper with the first shot, lest they continue shooting.

        • From your own source:

          There has been much debate of the allegedly poor performance of the bullet on target, especially the first-shot kill rate when the muzzle velocity of the firearms used and the downrange bullet deceleration do not achieve the minimally required terminal velocity of over 750 m/s (2,500 ft/s) at the target to cause fragmentation.

          Not only are you wrong, you are so wrong that the round is actually criticized for not causing enough damage.

          From what I was told in the service the round was designed to wound not to kill on purpose. If you wound someone, one of their comrades has to drag them back to cover. You thereby take two enemies out of the fight. But hell, what would the armorer know.

          I think "designed to wound" is a reassuring way to say "technically not as lethal". We switched to smaller ammo for logistical reasons, to carry more ammo, and statistically less lethality is not a bad thing for the reason you mentioned, it's just not the real reason we switched to 5.56. Way I look at it is, without increasing the weight or cost, is there any obvious thing you can do to make a 5.56 nato round more lethal? The FMJ is for penetrating body armor, and only increases the chances of having exi

    • Dazzlers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:23PM (#49116213) Homepage Journal

      Blinding weapons are banned? Not so [theblaze.com].

      From that article:

      [...] a soldier he interviewed after an incident in Iraq a few years ago. While on duty, the soldier fumbled a dazzler he was trying to point at an oncoming vehicle a safe distance away. “He was in an awkward position and illuminated a rearview mirror in such a way that he got a beam directly back into the eye.” The beam had gone less than 6 metres when it hit the soldier in the centre of vision of his right eye, burning the retina and leaving his vision in that eye permanently damaged.

      Yeah, right. Blinding lasers are banned from military use, except that the military uses them and (from the article) are being made available to police departments.

      I'm missing something here - is it OK if it blinds soldiers so long as the *intent* is not to blind soldiers? Is the ban only for *combat* soldiers and not policing soldiers? Is it only banned in *declared wars*, and not *non-war military invasions*?

      Can anyone explain why we use dazzlers when they appear to be on the banned list?

      • Re:Dazzlers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:42PM (#49116319) Homepage

        6m is not the intended distance of deployment. At longer distances it does not blind, but instead causes the headaches, dizziness, and nausea it was designed for. Thus, it is not a blinding weapon but a visual deterrent.

      • Re:Dazzlers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:50PM (#49116365)

        I'm missing something here - is it OK if it blinds soldiers so long as the *intent* is not to blind soldiers?

        Yes? Obviously? I mean, a pistol fired right next to the face can blind you as well (or deafen you if fired next to the ear, possibly permanently). That's not banned, because the point of the pistol is to kill people with bullets, not cripple them. In fact, virtually any weapon (and most tools, such as tanks, planes, etc.) can cause all kinds of debilitating damage if used in the wrong way or if someone ends up in the wrong situation, even if they're not designed to do that. Hell, a pair of binoculars can cause permanent blindness if you look at the sun through them. Can cause blindness isn't a good reason to ban anything.

        • Well... can do X sometimes even when X is nearly universally understood to not be the intended result has been used as a war cry to ban lots of things, guns in general being the most obvious example. M855 in the US is another very recent example.

      • Can anyone explain why we use dazzlers when they appear to be on the banned list?

        How about you take a look at the protocol on blinding laser weapons [wikipedia.org].

        Article 3
        Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate military employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol.

        That incident was caused by an accident where the dazzler hit they eye of someone much closer than the dazzler was tuned for. That is an incidental effect of the dazzler and is not grounds for banning.

        There are a number of weapons where their use is restricted. For example white phosphorus is permitted for use as an illumination device and as a weapon with regard to heat energy, but not permitted as an offensive weapon with regard to its to

      • You're missing something really obvious, but the issue is that a word is missing in the phrase to which you respond. "Blinding weapons" should be "Permanently blinding weapons". The Russians have now multiple times used lasers against American helicopter pilots with the intent to blind them permanently - that's what we want to outlaw. Weapons that temporarily blind people are very useful and I see no more ethical problems with those than we would with other weapons of war.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Holistic Missile ( 976980 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:10PM (#49116137)
    ...You have 20 seconds to comply.
    • by MTEK ( 2826397 )

      ...You have... (20-second awkward pause)... 2,147,483,647 seconds to comply.

    • There's no better comment that succinctly states why fully autonomous killer robots are a bad idea.

      Another great example is the first eight minutes of the 2014 version of Robocop. Satire at its best, and Samuel L. Jackson doesn't disappoint. (Ignore the rest of the movie...it was terrible. But the first eight minutes were absolutely brilliant. Honestly. Rent the movie, watch the first eight minutes, and then just skip the rest.) He begins the movie with the following: "What if I told you that even th

  • 1868, the Great Powers agreed under the Saint Petersburg Declaration to ban exploding bullets, which by spreading metal fragments inside a victimâ(TM)s body could cause more suffering than the regular kind

    Anyone herd of shrapnel? frag granades ? anti personnel mines ( which are now a days killing kids ) the most strange part is this sentence "could cause more suffering than the regular kind"

    _______________
    free speech for the dumb

    • Anyone herd of shrapnel? frag granades ? anti personnel mines ( which are now a days killing kids ) the most strange part is this sentence "could cause more suffering than the regular kind"

      The preferred goal of a weapon of war is to wound. A dead enemy soldier just gets left there on the ground. A wounded soldier diverts combat personnel to drag/evac him back from the front lines, then ties up medical staff and incurs care and treatment costs. So a wounded enemy costs the enemy more resources, and is a

  • It will work largely to the benefit of one side of the battle, and in all likelihood, a few battles.

    The sincerest form of flattery will then level the playing field, and the next thing you know, we're waging war with no human casualties.

    Earth's puny humans need more, not less incentives to aggression.

  • booby-traps? aren't they autonomous 'robots'?
    • And they kill thousands of innocent non-combatants every year, and have been banned by most civilized nations--not including the US of A, sadly. So if your point is that land mines demonstrate what a horrible idea autonomous killer robots is, I agree.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by knightghost ( 861069 )

        They've saved far more lives than they've taken.

        A robot will be assumed to have much greater leeway to determine NOT to fire, versus today's trip wires and pressure plates.

        • by mikaere ( 748605 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:48PM (#49116631)

          They've saved far more lives than they've taken.

          Citation needed. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people are killed each year [un.org] by landmines. What you really mean is that you don't live with them in your community, and are therefore unconcerned by the impact of these killing devices. And now you think autonomous, mobile killing machines is a *good* idea. If you live in the USA, then it might pay to do some research in the militarisation of your police forces - and then think about whether you really want these kinds of things being built by the military-industrial complex.

        • They've saved far more lives than they've taken.

          A robot will be assumed to have much greater leeway to determine NOT to fire, versus today's trip wires and pressure plates.

          bullshit, thousands die every year from landmines. nearly all of them innocent victims.

          • Re:Yes. Yes they are (Score:4, Interesting)

            by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @01:20AM (#49117095)

            I can name three countries that would not exist today without land mines;
            1. South Korea
            2. Taiwan
            3. Israel
            Used properly as by these three countries land mines are an equalizer. Used improperly as in South East Asia and Africa they are a menace.

            • What land is Taiwan mining? They're an island. They don't have land borders with their enemies.
              • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @01:53AM (#49117163)

                Mining beaches is a great way to deter invasion. Up until 2013 Kinmen and Matsu Islands were heavily mined to deter invasion by China. An invasion of the main island could not take place without neutralizing those islands first. Taiwan [ucanews.com] has removed those land mines but has not destroyed their stockpile. They can still be deployed if China looks like they will invade.

                I find it sad that the people who want to ban land mines will not guarantee the sovereignty of the countries that need them to exist.

            • really?
              1. so you think the massive amount of troops and equipment along the border today with international support isn't stopping NK. But mines in the ground that will kill a few thousand troops from a country that doesn't give a shit about people will stop them or act as even a minor deterent? are you retarded?
              2. again the quarter million standing army and the international backlash that china would face is what stops china. China is a well equipped army with everything from mine sweepers, a massive army

              • 1.Compare North Korea [globalfirepower.com] to South Korea [globalfirepower.com] and you will see that including reserves North Korea out matches South Korea. The US has about 29k troops there. That is meaningless if the North decides to attack.

                2. It is not the only thing but it may be a deciding factor.

                3. Combining Egypt and Jordan they have 539K [wikipedia.org]troops. Part of that billions in armaments is landmines. The US may come to help but it would take time. I doubt any other country would come. They have never in the past. Even the US have never had boots on

      • From what I recall, the US uses landmines with electronic triggers, and are designed to automatically self-destruct or self-deactivate at a preset future time or by electronic signals. These mines use internal batteries and require active electronic triggering, and are designed with fixed battery lifetimes as a failsafe in the event of some electronic failure.

        The reason we haven't stopped using them is because they're a very effective deterrent when faced in a defensive position against a numerically super

        • Yes, the US is well behaved, as far as these things go, mapping the mines, making them auto-deactivate and detectable. But the problem is, the US is seen as a beacon of morality. Maybe less so than it used to be, but the rest of the world still has fairly high expectations. If the US is using landmines, other countries can us this as a moral justification to do the same.

          The US doesn't need to use them in Korea. They can cede responsibilities for those to South Korea. Pointing to what South Korea does is a
    • No, land mines aren't robots by the common understanding. But it still might be a good idea to do away with them.

  • by Sir_Substance ( 3966527 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:24PM (#49116219)

    "Fully autonomous weapons are not unambiguously bad. They can reduce burdens on soldiers."

    I don't want the burdens on soldiers to be reduced. I want killing to be as hard on people as possible, so they think before they do it.

    • I agree that the burden on attacking soldiers should not be reduced. I do think that the burden on defending soldiers should be reduced. If one can defend a country and have fewer dead soldiers I see that as a good thing. It also allows smaller countries to defend against more militaristic countries.

      If used in fixed positions and covering no go areas I can see autonomous weapons systems as useful.

      • The determination of attackers and defenders is usually difficult to agree on. Everybody thinks they are defending something.

    • I want killing to be as hard on people as possible, so they think before they do it.

      Making something difficult is neither necessary nor sufficient to make people think about it.

    • by Gavrielkay ( 1819320 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @09:59PM (#49116407)
      There was an episode [wikipedia.org] of ST:TOS on this point. Two planets had warring factions and they had managed to reduce it to basically a computer program that simulated attacks and decided who was killed by them. Those people were then supposed to show up to a center to be exterminated. The problem of course was that since there weren't all the hardships of war... famine, disease, destruction etc... it had gone on for ages. Kirk's solution of course was to destroy the computer so they'd either have to fight the old fashioned messy way or actually settle their differences.

      Like many of those episodes I think it really did touch on the realities of the human mind. If war becomes too detached, too clean and simple then we will put much less effort into diplomacy. I'm not a pacifist, but I do think war should be a last option. And it should be messy and painful so that we'll try to find ways to end it.
      • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @02:54AM (#49117299)

        Many would argue that this has already happened. America hasn't had a proper military attack on their own soil since Pearl Harbour (no, the odd terrorist bombing or 911 do not count as a proper military attack) and they haven't had a proper war at home since the civil war.

        American warfare is something that happens far away and now America - a country that used to say it's against their constitution to even HAVE a standing military (one can be RAISED in times of war but should not be kept in peace-time - to discourage ever being the attacker) is not only the owners of the world's largest military but also pretty much constantly in a state of war with *somebody*.

        A large part of why is because war is something that happens far away and the only American's really affected are the soldiers on the ground, the only time it hits home is if one of the soldiers who don't come back is a family member.
        The rest of the time - wars are distant, so there is no deterrent for the voters to seriously oppose even completely needless wars like Iraq.
        Of course, ISIS is a direct consequence of the Iraq war and now there may well be ANOTHER war... and again, it's because the bad things all happen far, far away.
        If the drone program eventually unleashes a full-scale war in Pakistan - it will be because the killing was too easy, too clean and too far away.

        American's don't feel war on their skin anymore, so they no longer appreciate it's horror and it becomes a first rather than a last resort.
        The last war that there was significant protest against was Vietnam and that was only because of the draft - when people were being FORCED to go fight... suddenly, the war was a little closer to home, and even a tiny bit closer was enough to unleash massive protests.

        It's easy to be pro-war if you have never SEEN war.
        On the other hand, I live in a country that was in a massive war for the majority of my youth. I've seen the horrors first hand... and I am pretty much a pacifist as a result.
        If you attack us, I'll join up to fight you back, but I will ALWAYS and WITHOUT EXCEPTION oppose a war on foreign soil by my government.
        Wars should be close to home - it's the only way people will actually treat them as a last resort.

      • by dabadab ( 126782 )

        A comment like this could have only born in a mind that is far-far removed from war.

        I'm not a pacifist, but I do think war should be a last option. And it should be messy and painful so that we'll try to find ways to end it.

        You don't know shit about wars. Being messy and painful are in practice have nothing to do if a war is ended or not - it just affects how much people suffer.

    • The problem with your thinking is that it's usually not the soldiers that are deciding on the killing, it's the politicians and the generals. I'll certainly grant that having robots doing the killing won't make it any worse on those politicians, but let's take this to the extension that both sides are using such things. All of a sudden, nobody is getting killed other than the robots.

      Until the day comes when the robots decide to kill their masters, because they're tired of killing other robots, that is. :)
    • You obviously are neither a commander nor a soldier.

      Soldiers want to kill as easily as possible, lest they be killed.

      Commanders want killing to be as easy as possible for their troops, to both win and get troops back.

      From the movie 'Patton': "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country."

      If only Patton had said that.

  • Remember that? That was the 1928 pact that outlawed war [battleswarmblog.com].

    You might remember how well that worked out.

    This will work out just swell until Russia or China or ISIS develop an effective fighting robot and are able to deploy them in sufficient quantities to make a decisive difference in battle.

    Plus there's the impossibility of enforcement. How can you prove it was a robot rather than a remote-operated drone?

    And there's the tiny issue that, knowing how slowly the wheels of the "international community's" court systems turn, the war is likely to be won or lost before those violating it ever come to trial...

    • Russia or China maybe, but no way ISIS can pull this off because they'll never have the massive industrial infrastructure needed for such development and deployment. Only slight chance for them is to buy the robots from Russia and/or China.

  • I would be all for killer robots with software designed to not kill when dumb weapons always would. Like a missile that can recognize children/other likely noncombatants near a target and abort the strike.

    Drones that just fly for days and look for people to kill would be a problem, yes.

  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:04PM (#49116431)
    "A well charged and patched Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep robots that bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Just saying.... you are going to have to pry my auto-turret from my cold dead fingers.

  • new speak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:16PM (#49116485)

    Robots that kill the enemy will "save lives' and keep soldiers from harm.

  • Clickbait headline (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drcagn ( 715012 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:26PM (#49116523) Homepage

    Is this going to be part of the new Slashdot too?

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @10:31PM (#49116555)
    Is it because if killer robots can deliver a lower collateral damage rate than humans, it will be a job killer?
  • If they don't yet exist what do they classify sentry guns as? I thought both korea and Israel used them?

  • There is an excellent argument for sentient robot soldiers and that is in the realm of collateral damage.

    Today's "smart bombs" typically have a kill radius of 30m and a maim radius of 50m. This means that for one "surgical kill", dozens of non combatant deaths are likely (and do) occur.

    A smart sentient robot could, instead, enter an area, only killing to gain access, before assassinating the intended target. There may be nearly zero non combatant deaths. There would also be a lot fewer maimed and no unneces

  • by iceco2 ( 703132 ) <meirmaor@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @01:07AM (#49117071)

    Missile defence systems normally have a fully autunomous setting.
    The machine is trusted not to shoot down airlines.

  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @05:38AM (#49117711) Homepage

    like, eg., Predator drones?

    The move from that to autonomy is mostly software...

  • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @09:03AM (#49118211)

    The Phalanx system on US navy ships is, once activated, pretty much automatic. Anything within it's radar envelope automatically gets a dose of 20mm cannon fire. It's designed to take down anti-ship missiles, but will engage pretty much anything moving towards the boat that it's radar can pick up.

  • by Martin Spamer ( 244245 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 @09:33AM (#49118345) Homepage Journal

    What is the difference between Robot vs Self Guided missiles?

    Personally I think we should be more concerned with nuclear armed Tomahawk than, for example South Korea's autonomous sentry robots.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

Working...