"The lawyers tell me there are no prohibitions against robots making life-or-death decisions,"
(NYT link) The Pentagon is spending $127 billion on a new project called Future Combat Systems, and armed, decision-making robots represent a significant part of that project (though such a drone may not be available until 2035). They're also looking at the possibility of nanotechnological "smart dust." Though the concept of grey goo
has been all but debunked
by the man who coined the phrase
, the more immediate future may hold robots who, according to the Times
article, are faced with choices like whether to destroy a tank or a school bus (One of the main contractors involved, the somewhat ominously named iRobot
, is best known for making vacuum-cleaner-bots). Is the general movement toward a fleshless army a good idea?
posted by hifiparasol
on Feb 17, 2005 -