inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #51 of 82: John A. Morris (johnmorris) Sun 10 May 09 08:09
    
Our universities used to fill that role before the Golden Fleece
awards.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #52 of 82: Peter W Singer (peterwsinger) Sun 10 May 09 19:31
    
That is an interesting issue, which is actually related to one of the
discussion questions I propose for book clubs or evil professors making
up essay assignments (others at
http://wiredforwar.pwsinger.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5
7&Itemid=63):
 
What will the robotics industry look like 20 years from now?
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #53 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sun 10 May 09 19:44
    
Hopefully a lot of standard, interchangeable parts, in stock and ready to
ship, with software components to match.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #54 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sun 10 May 09 20:00
    
Interfaces are critical, including mechanical interfaces, as between 
two parts that are supposed to connect together, like a hand that 
plugs into an arm, electrical connectors, and software interfaces,
which shouldn't assume any particular operating system or language.
Such things need standardization.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #55 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Mon 11 May 09 07:13
    
Peter, there’s still another couple of days, but just to be sure I get
this in in time, I’d like to say that I hope you make use of your WELL 
account to look around a bit.

Besides conferences already mentioned, early on, you might find these
interesting...

Current Events <current.>
Politics       <politics.>
New York       <ny.>   (There’s an cluster of WELL users in NYC.)
Writers        <writers.>
Byline         <byline.>

Who knows, you might even decide to stay.  ;-)
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #56 of 82: Peter W Singer (peterwsinger) Tue 12 May 09 08:39
    
Thank you, John!
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #57 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Tue 12 May 09 09:01
    
Hoping to keep things rolling a bit longer, answering another of the 
questions from the page linked above...

> Do you believe in the idea of the Singularity?
> If not, why not?

No, at least not in the sense of a relatively sudden change precipitated
by the development of a superintelligence.

Everything about AI (as an academic discipline) has proven harder than
we expected it to be, and progress has only come stepwise.  Even if some
particular AI were to pass the Turing test, it wouldn't necessarily be
extraordinarily intelligent, nor necessarily interested in becoming so,
nor necessarily have a clue how to design one that is.  (IMHO, a better
test than that proposed by Turing is whether switching off an AI feels
like murder, or something approaching it.)

But if you're satisfied with a singularity that plays out over a century
or two, still an instant in geological time, proceeding at the pace of
ordinary human intelligence and realities like amortization rates, and
resulting from better tools and teaching methods, filled-in gaps in our
basic understanding (the nature of gravity, for example), and delusional
ideas left behind, then yes, that's something I can believe in, provided
we don't make the planet unlivable first.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #58 of 82: pardon my amygdala (murffy) Wed 13 May 09 10:20
    
If you're still around, Peter, a question just occured to me. Have
there been any clever things opposing forces have come up with (low
tech or high tech) that have been used to thwart robots and drones?
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #59 of 82: (dana) Wed 13 May 09 10:52
    
Peter, thank you for joining us. We're beginning a new discussion today, but
you're welcome to keep the conversation going here as long as you like.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #60 of 82: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Wed 13 May 09 15:24
    
And thanks from me as well.  Hope you'll stick around and explore the
Well! 
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #61 of 82: John A. Morris (johnmorris) Wed 13 May 09 17:46
    
To the above list please add <attack>
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #62 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Thu 14 May 09 07:59
    
<attack.> if you want it to be an Engaged link.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #63 of 82: Peter W Singer (peterwsinger) Thu 14 May 09 08:14
    
Murffy (58),

An excellent question. And one that illustrates one of the aspects I
write about in the book how, no matter how great your technology, the
enemy still has a vote and there will be even tougher dilemmas to
figure out. 

We are starting to see both high and low tech responses. These range
from attempts at jamming the communications link for the system to
building specially designed boobytraps for robots, such as "tiger
traps." There was also an amusing rumor that went through Afghanistan
that the robots could read people's thoughts (the Brits happily pushed
this along), so some militants started wearing tinfoil on their heads
to block it. But the most common and effective response has been the
mode of "lawfare." That is, a deliberate choice to take advantage of
the laws of war, not by respecting them but by violating them, such as
by hiding out in sites that should be kept from war like a school or
mosque or surrounding oneself with women and children. The strikes into
Pakistan have had a gruesome number of civilian losses, by some
accounts as many as 700. Some of this is through bad intelligence and
misses and some of it is via deliberate attempts by those on the ground
to enhance the number of civilians killed. It is this dilemma that is
at the heart of the challenge to the laws of war in the 21st century.
They were written in the 20th century and are so old they would qualify
for Medicare if they were people. But they are being asked to respond
to 21st century technology like a Predator drone, which is being used
to target a 21st century actor in war like an AQ leader, who thinks its
a good thing to hide his explosives in a hospital or make sure women
and children live in the bunker with him. So the existing laws of war
are being placed under siege from both sides.  
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #64 of 82: John A. Morris (johnmorris) Thu 14 May 09 08:17
    
The Israelis have had that problem for years and have not figured out
a solution.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #65 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Fri 15 May 09 08:32
    
> attempts at jamming the communications link for the system

Which is one of the factors pushing autonomous operation, right?

Can't have a UAV start flying in circles if it loses contact with the
outside world.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #66 of 82: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Fri 15 May 09 15:54
    
> The Israelis have had that problem for years and have not figured
> out a solution.

I'm not sure there *is* a solution that is palatable to our
sensibilities. I don't see a short- or medium-term technological
solution to it, either. In the really blue-sky future I can think of 
micro- or nano-sized probes that can enter a building and somehow
distinguish between targets and noncombatants. Or something like an
artificial insect that can fly into a room, land on a human, and take
a tiny blood or DNA sample for identification, then take out the 
intended target.  
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #67 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sun 17 May 09 17:58
    
This Danger Room article...

<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/05/drone-kills-25-calls-for-
moratorium-hit-new-york-times/>

http://tinyurl.com/pakstrikes

...links to several sources, principally to this New York Times Op-Ed
calling for a moratorium on drone strikes in Pakistan...

<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/opinion/17exum.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3>
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #68 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Mon 18 May 09 07:26
    
Another, belated, thumbs up for Peter's presentation on TED.com

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pw_singer_on_robots_of_war.html
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #69 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Thu 21 May 09 10:51
    
I caught a midnight showing of Terminator Salvation.  No recommendation,
one way or the other.  You already know whether you're planning on seeing 
this movie, right?  Just don't expect to see the 2018 version of what's
been under discussion here, for the most part.  There are some details,
like a small robotic aircraft capable of hovering in place, like a
helicopter can, that are plausible, but most of the technology is over
the top for nine years in the future.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #70 of 82: John A. Morris (johnmorris) Thu 21 May 09 18:43
    
I'm going anyway. I need to know what happens next.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #71 of 82: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sat 23 May 09 01:39
    
I didn't much care for it. I liked the tv show much better.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #72 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sat 23 May 09 08:06
    
There's another upcoming movie that takes the idea of remote operation
(a.k.a. telepresence) about as far as it can be taken, to a situation
in which just about everyone lives their lives through human-appearing
robotic surrogates.

Surrogates (9/25/09) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986263/
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #73 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sun 24 May 09 11:23
    
If the military relevance of that last is obscure, imagine an operator
suspended in a gimbal, as in the movie Lawnmower Man, connected to a
humanoid machine in the field.
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #74 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Mon 22 Jun 09 18:10
    
Plan to teach military robots the rules of war
http://tinyurl.com/rulesofwar  (newscientist.com)
  
inkwell.vue.352 : P.W. Singer, Wired For War
permalink #75 of 82: John Payne (satyr) Sun 28 Jun 09 17:38
    
Ultra-precision glide bombs, dispensed up to ten at a time, are on a rush
order presumably for use in (Iraq and) Afghanistan.  The system is called
Gunslinger, and while it falls short of the nuggets of pure information
dispensed by another Gunslinger (epic poem by Ed Dorn), it may represent
an all-time high information:explosives ratio for real world munitions.
That said, it's still a bomb.

<http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/06/spec-ops-shops-for-10-pack-of-precisio
n-glide-bombs/>

http://tinyurl.com/lh6h63
  

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