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    More: Scary, launch campaign, military robots, cluster bombs, laws of war, BAE Systems, Human Rights Watch, University of Sheffield, Stop the Killer Robots  
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10461 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Feb 2013 at 8:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-24 08:20:43 AM
6 votes:
As a guy who did his doctoral research on this subject I have to say I'm really getting a kick...

/ The reason that we're going to have robots in combat is because robots don't have parents that vote.
2013-02-24 08:54:40 AM
3 votes:
Sharkey insists he is not anti-war but deeply concerned about how quickly science is moving ahead of the presumptions underlying the Geneva convention and the international laws of war.

He's not anti-war, so he's...errr, pro-war? There are people out there who are pro-war?
I thought the sane default setting was anti-war, with adjustments necessary according to circumstance?
2013-02-24 09:02:00 AM
2 votes:

No Catchy Nickname: He's not anti-war, so he's...errr, pro-war? There are people out there who are pro-war?


thinkprogress.org

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Best advice, run away and do not return - it'll only leave you pissed off and addicted.
2013-02-25 02:04:07 AM
1 votes:

randomjsa: Let me think here...

Soldiers from my side will be killed or injured at a much lower rate thanks to new technology.

I'm going to go ahead and say 'stuff it' to the people who have a problem with this.


You're a short-sighted asshole.

mrexcess: I don't think you've thought this through very well. [....] In other words, the risks of war will increasingly be borne by the civilian populations.


This. This, this, this, and more THIS. Removing live soldiers from the battlefield erodes the protections that civilians are supposed to have in war. And it erodes the moral hazard of starting a conflict. War is supposed to be hell. Victory is supposed to come at great cost. Having to explain to grieving parents that what their son died for was worth it, is supposed to be a part of war. It's a safeguard against starting wars for the wrong reasons. It's why we don't start wars at the drop of a hat. Or we didn't used to, I guess times have changed.

Wanting a ban on autonomous weapons has nothing to do with fears of a Terminator scenario. It's not the idea of these weapons malfunctioning that bothers me, it's them working exactly as designed. It's a warmongering politician's wet dream, and the lack of accountability appeals to domestic law-and-order jackboots as well.
2013-02-24 06:35:20 PM
1 votes:
Virtuoso80
Our side gets robots, their side gets robots: We have big robot battles with no human casualties. Very cool.

I don't think you've thought this through very well. When war is fought through the use of automated machines, it is very unlikely that the targets of the automated machines will exclusively or even primarily be other automated machines. That makes no sense, because if things are done that way then each side's supply chain, which creates the robots, would remain intact.

Rather, the automated machines will blur the "front lines" of conflict even further away from the old force-on-force way of fighting, instead leading to the targeting of industrial and infrastructural and political bases of the nation being fought against. In other words, the risks of war will increasingly be borne by the civilian populations. Attacker robots will target civilian populations in an effort to rapidly bring the nation's warfighting capability to a halt. Defender robots will attempt to counter this, with varying levels of success. In any event, war targeting civilians rather than military forces will become the norm.

/we have to put in line break tags, now? seriously?
2013-02-24 06:33:28 PM
1 votes:
Virtuoso80Our side gets robots, their side gets robots: We have big robot battles with no human casualties. Very cool.I don't think you've thought this through very well. When war is fought through the use of automated machines, it is very unlikely that the targets of the automated machines will exclusively or even primarily be other automated machines. That makes no sense, because if things are done that way then each side's supply chain, which creates the robots, would remain intact. Rather, the automated machines will blur the "front lines" of conflict even further away from the old force-on-force way of fighting, instead leading to the targeting of industrial and infrastructural and political bases of the nation being fought against. In other words, the risks of war will increasingly be borne by the civilian populations. Attacker robots will target civilian populations in an effort to rapidly bring the nation's warfighting capability to a halt. Defender robots will attempt to counter this, with varying levels of success. In any event, war targeting civilians rather than military forces will become the norm.
2013-02-24 03:12:09 PM
1 votes:
OK, this is going to be TL;DR, but this has been on my mind for a few decades now.

I think what we have here is a contrast between two legitimate perspectives.  On the one hand, military commanders want any advantage they can get to reduce the chance that their warfighters will be killed (as Gen. Patton said, 'You don't win a war by dying for your country; you win a war by making the other poor dumb son of a biatch die for his country').  On the other hand, I think most people do not want war to become something that is indulged in frivolously.

This is a discussion that has been explored a few times in Science Fiction.  As commenters above have pointed out, the Star Trek: TOS episode 'A Taste of Armageddon' had this issue as its main focus.  Also, in Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Darkover' series, there was 'The Compact'.

In 'Trek' (for those who don't remember the episode), Eminiar and Vendikar had been at war for a long time.  The running of the war has been turned over to computers on each planet, which communicated with each other and ran the war as a simulated 'war game'.  Whenever the simulation showed that an attack had been successful, the people identified as casualties calmly reported to disintegrator stations to be killed.  They went along with this because if they did not, if they abrogated the 'agreement', the other side would start using real weapons.  They were so horrified of the prospect of real devastation, that they had kept this 'phony war' going for generations.  It took Kirk to point out that stopping the war - making peace - was a much better solution.  To paraphrase him, War should be horrible, so that there is motivation to stop it.  If you remove the horror, it becomes too easy to institutionalize it.

In the case of 'Darkover', to put it simply, the Compact outlawed any form of ranged attack.  If you wanted to fight someone or kill them, OK, but you had to do it face to face.  That is, you had to have the balls to put yourself at risk, rather than taking the 'cowardly' approach of attacking from safety.  There was some sense in this - many Darkovans had mental abilities that enabled them to kill from a distance.  On the downside, it kinda sucked if you were not skilled at hand-to-hand swordplay and had a beef with a real bruiser of a swordsman.

(Another example - In the words of General Robert E. Lee, "It is well that war is so terrible - lest we should grow too fond of it.")

OK, so - autonomous weapons.  Some very good friends of mine think that this is a fine idea, and we should pursue them, full speed ahead.  I can't really refute that on the face of it.  Taking our folks out of harm's way is difficult to argue against.  What can you say - we *should* send more soldiers out to die?

On the other hand, I think our leaders *need* to have the risk of the loss of life of their soldiers as a counterbalance in their decision making.  Whenever the temptation arises to launch an attack, it is necessary that the possibility or probability of our losses be placed on the scales against the projected gains from the attack.  Because in the end, that decision is a moral decision.  "Is what we are trying to accomplish so morally justified that we are willing to expend the blood of our children?"

If not, then the attack should not be launched.

If our technology removes that counterweight from the scales - if making war carries no more gravitas than driving to the store to pick up some milk - then I do not believe that our leaders will be able to resist the temptation to use this capability trivially.  I do not trust them to place the same weight on the possible loss of life on the other side as they should for loss of life amongst our forces.

War becomes easier, war becomes cheaper (morally), and war becomes a casual political stunt.  Maybe not immediately, maybe gradually, but, I fear, inevitably.
 Over the years, the USA has invested man-millennia and tremendous amounts of our national treasure in an effort to improve the precision and accuracy of our weapons.  We have worked to develop non-lethal means of attack.  Is this technology perfect?  Hell, no.  Is it light-years better than it was during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc?  Hell, yes.  This is in large contrast to many of our current foes, who seem to delight in increasing civilian casualties, rather than trying to avoid them.


I believe we should think, long and hard, about the long term effects on us, on our society, before we embrace autonomous weapons unconditionally.  Not that we shouldn't investigate the technology - just don't put it into full usage without a lot of thought.  Right now, when we use combat drones, we have human operators behind them.  My hope is that we will retain at least that level of humanity.

Do I expect it to be a popular position, that we should continue to send people into harm's way, if we have the means to avoid it?  No.  Could I explain to a grieving mother, wife, child, that their loved one died because we need to keep letting our people die so that our politicians might have some cause to find another solution besides warfare?  No, I could not.

I have no real answers here.  I have questions that I desperately hope that many, many of us will discuss, earnestly, and with good will, to think about seriously before any irrevocable decisions are made.
2013-02-24 01:41:43 PM
1 votes:
www.lifeboat.com

This is probably the most realistic way we'll get farked.
2013-02-24 11:50:27 AM
1 votes:
img203.imageshack.us
2013-02-24 11:17:57 AM
1 votes:
And the best part is when they get hacked and turned on the cowards that deploy them, they will cry how unfair it is to use robots against them.

We are waiting China.....................
2013-02-24 10:28:53 AM
1 votes:

GoldSpider: If old people would just lock up their medicine, none of this would be a problem.


i373.photobucket.com
2013-02-24 09:59:16 AM
1 votes:

way south: No Catchy Nickname: I thought the sane default setting was anti-war, with adjustments necessary according to circumstance?

To varying degrees you can be in favor of using force to achieve goals.
...But just because you're ok with conflict doesn't mean you're ok with using any means at hand.

War should always hurt, or we might start to enjoy it.

/When a politician is dropping bombs left right and center rather than negotiate then you could say he is indeed pro-war.
/I think we're approaching the point of war becoming so expedient and easy in the US that its no longerrecognized as war.
/That's kind of dangerous.


That was really the point behind the "adjustments necessary according to circumstance" part. Even so, if the same goals can be achieved without use of force, who would want to use force?
Of course, the time factor could be important; force might be predicted to produce a swifter outcome than diplomacy, say. Although we all know just how predictions of a swift end to conflict usually turn out.
2013-02-24 09:55:23 AM
1 votes:

No Catchy Nickname: Sharkey insists he is not anti-war but deeply concerned about how quickly science is moving ahead of the presumptions underlying the Geneva convention and the international laws of war.

He's not anti-war, so he's...errr, pro-war? There are people out there who are pro-war?
I thought the sane default setting was anti-war, with adjustments necessary according to circumstance?


there are moral hazards to saying a nation should never go to war.

cites include the Revolutionary, WWII, and Civil wars as references.

Also, why the fark  are we even discussing autonomous robots going to war? Has no one in the Pentagon SEEN a movie?
2013-02-24 09:09:51 AM
1 votes:

Wellon Dowd: Ask the people of Eminiar 7 if it is a good idea to automate warfare.


i.imgur.com
2013-02-24 08:51:40 AM
1 votes:
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

s20.postimage.org
2013-02-24 08:44:02 AM
1 votes:
2013-02-24 08:33:46 AM
1 votes:
I don't know what it's like to live in a constant state of fear of anything and everything new, but it must be unpleasant.
2013-02-24 08:32:19 AM
1 votes:
bostonherald.com
 
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