Monday, October 03, 2011

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are flying robots remotely operated by pilots thousands of miles away, allowing soldiers to spy, survey, and obliterate the so-called enemy at the press of a button, much like a video game, except in the real world people die. As though video game warfare wasn't disturbing enough, it appears the military has gone even further, attempting to remove human control from the equation.

According to the Washington Post’s Peter Finn, the U.S. military is a decade or so away from deploying an army of pilotless drones capable of collaborating with one another in order to hunt down, identify, and annihilate an enemy combatant all on their own, without any human guidance. The U.S. military has teamed up with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to test these autonomous aerial drones, which will use facial-recognition type software to identify the targeted individual.

In other words, in the very near future, automated flying robots, instead of human pilots, will make decisions on whether or not to launch an attack to annihilate human beings on the ground based on biometrics software. I can think of a half-dozen science fiction movies (Terminator, anyone?) where allowing the machines to call the shots, particularly when dealing with life and death, backfired on their human overlords...