When Top Gun Meets AI – The Coming Era Of Robotic Warfare

By PNW Staff

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While the public flocks to theaters to be entertained by futuristic thrillers, the U.S. Defense Department is quietly working to make the convergence of artificial intelligence and autonomous robots a present reality.
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The Defense Department is racing with nations like China to design functional robotic fighter jets that serve as wing men for manned aircraft. Along with semi-autonomous aircraft, the DOD is far along in developing autonomous submarine hunting crafts that can cover thousands of miles of territory without the help of humans.
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Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, speaking of these developments said, “If Stanley Kubrick directed ‘Dr. Strangelove’ again, it would be about the issue of autonomous weapons.”
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Mankind has a long history of an uneasy alliance with machines that operate independent of human control. From H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds to The Terminator, the possibility of autonomous machines has moved from possibility to fact.
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The last decade has seen an explosion of revolutionary technologies that make what was once the thing of filmmaker’s imagination to a rapidly approaching reality. Autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence are no longer on the back burner but rather at the forefront of the military technology.
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Though mostly unnoticed outside defense circles, artificial intelligence is receiving major funding as a part of the Pentagon’s strategy to maintain the U.S. position as the world’s dominant military power.
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Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee has logged thousands of hours engaging in simulated battle with artificial intelligence aircraft and has proven, overall, that man remains superior to machines.
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Lee holds extensive aerial combat experience as an instructor and Air Battle Manager with considerable fighter aircraft expertise and makes a most worthy pilot to test the worthiness of AI’s.
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Recently, however, the retired top gun has found himself consistently outmaneuvered by a new AI developed by a University of Cincinnati doctoral graduate.
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The artificial intelligence, titled Alpha, was the victor in that simulated scenario, and according to the Colonel, is “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I’ve seen to date”.

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China, Russia, and many other knowledgeable nations are nervous about the matter and the U.S. cannot afford to sit idle. The prospect of robotics in warfare has created anxiety because scientific development tends to run ahead of our ethical and moral consciousness.
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The implications of Terminator-style robots on the battlefield or Skynet driven drones deciding by themselves who to blast from the skies has become a part of our collective consciousness, and perhaps for good reason.
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Groups like International Committee for Robot Arms Control, Human Rights Watch and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots actively advocate an outright ban on the development of autonomous weapons systems (AWS).
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It has been observed that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity, and humanity has been known to plunge ahead without regard to the possible consequences of its inventions.
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With self-driving cars now roaming our streets and the exponential growth of artificial-intelligence-driven robotics, the wisest observers say such technologies may not need to be banned but they should be carefully regulated.
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About Phil Mayo

I write about Bible prophecy. Come visit my website. If you like eschatology, you will like this...

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