US Military Changing "Killing Machine" Robo-Tank Program after Controversy

Megalith

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The US Army is clarifying its “ATLAS” (Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System) program after initial reporting of its ground combat vehicles sparked fears of autonomous machines that would kill without human interaction. Back in 2007, the agency toyed with small, machine-gun tank robots called SWORDS but was forced to end the program after the robot “began to behave unpredictably, moving its gun chaotically.”

The response seems to have spooked the Army, which is now changing its request for information to better emphasize that the program will follow Defense Department policy on human control of lethal robots. They are also drafting talking points to further the new emphasis. The robot’s ability to identify, target, and engage doesn’t mean “we’re putting the machine in a position to kill anybody,” one Army official told Defense One.
 

HAL_404

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yea, sure ... they cancelled it :LOL:

"the NSA does have a program called Skynet. But unlike the autonomous, self-aware computerized defense system in Terminator that goes rogue and launches a nuclear attack that destroys most of humanity, this one is a surveillance program that uses phone metadata to track the location and call activities of suspected terrorists." - Wired

see ... absolutely nothing to worry about :cautious:
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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I agree that autonomous machines that kill without human intervention are a terrible idea. The problem is - however - that they would definitely be an advantage in the battlefield, and our global adversaries have much less restraint than we do...

Sooner or later we will be facing these in conflict situations somewhere, and when that happens, it would be a good idea to have our own.
 
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What if the robot uprising is peaceful?

One minute you're getting all hyped up to propaganda time on the radio and the next thing you know you're sucking on a pacifier and ED-209 is rocking you to sleep singing you a lullaby.

International negotiations will only be conducted on scheduled play dates.
 

Nafensoriel

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I agree that autonomous machines that kill without human intervention are a terrible idea. The problem is - however - that they would definitely be an advantage in the battlefield, and our global adversaries have much less restraint than we do...

Sooner or later we will be facing these in conflict situations somewhere, and when that happens, it would be a good idea to have our own.
The thing is they aren't really a terrible idea overall... but they are currently terrible due to the limitations of modern AI. Insect level intelligence just isn't smart enough to handle target verification all that well in an active environment. It's challenging enough when you are dealing with building objects in a restricted safe space.

All the elements that would allow a robot to kill without orders in a similar fashion to a human soldier are also the exact same set of rules for a robot to not injure a human through negligence at say an industrial site or mine.
 

RipperMac

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While the military is taking a step back from the forced moral issue, private industry will step in make this monstrosity and sell to the highest bidders. Video game Armageddon is/will be at hand and T series killer autonomous machines will be hunting the water sacks
 

Oldmodder

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I am wondering how the damn things will tell friends from foes, cuz if they cant really do this and so can only be deployed far from yourself, then really good old fashioned resistance groups will be far more effective in the enemy rear.
 

seanreisk

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The problem is - however - that they would definitely be an advantage in the battlefield, and our global adversaries have much less restraint than we do...

The thing is they aren't really a terrible idea overall... but they are currently terrible due to the limitations of modern AI.


This is the exact same problem as driverless cars - the technology is close, but that last tiny part of the solution is 90% of the work. That does not mean we should stop research - the ability for robots to act autonomously in semi-controlled situations is still important, and the ability for a remotely controlled robot to act autonomously when control is lost is still important.

Robots are coming - in fact, they're overdue. Creating a remotely piloted 'VIP' vehicle to lead a convoy and absorb IEDs was supposed to appear in 2005.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Anybody ever play Mech Warrior? That's no Atlas!!!
Played both SNES games, PS1 MW2, all MW4 games, MC2.
Guess the reference in one of the other games.
What if the robot uprising is peaceful?

One minute you're getting all hyped up to propaganda time on the radio and the next thing you know you're sucking on a pacifier and ED-209 is rocking you to sleep with its twitching toe, singing you a lullaby.

International negotiations will only be conducted on scheduled play dates.

I am wondering how the damn things will tell friends from foes, cuz if they cant really do this and so can only be deployed far from yourself, then really good old fashioned resistance groups will be far more effective in the enemy rear.
Just point it one direction and program it to kill everything in B field and pray it doesn't get knock over.
 
D

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ED-209 used to be my nightmare fuel. Now its those robot dogs in the Black Mirror Metalhead episode.
 
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