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Revisiting robot armies | Robogrunt – The Register

Robogrunt: the US military’s plans for robot armies | The Register:

grunts themselves become geeks, or perhaps more likely, are transformed into callcentre grunts, sitting in a control room coordinating multiple fighting, scouting and UN peace-keeping (wonder if they’re doing these?) robots.

Billings refers to a US National Academy of Sciences report which defines four classes of robot: Searcher, which does reconnaissance; Donkey, which humps stuff (no, not like that); Wingman, which seems to be some kind of remote-controlled light tank; and Hunter-Killer, a platoon of ten unmanned vehicles which themselves contain up to five small observation vehicles apiece. Hunter-Killer’s ability to strike deep into enemy territory, no matter how dangerous, should allow the US military to dispense entirely with Europeans, except maybe for sweeping up afterwards.

Robot soldiers are something of a phobia with me.

Imagine not even having to send soldiers in to destroy towns. Or even to hire mercenaries. Remote control war. George Lucas of all people, prescient. George Orwell’s visions not dark enough. Patriot acts. Automated voting.

We had best hope that on 2 November more than half of all Americans are not the jingoistic, warmongerers that they seem to be now. If not this world of ours is in for hard times.

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