So, it sounds like robots might not be the future of the military after all. At least, that’s what this guy Fred Kaplan says. He claims there isn’t going to be much demand for armed ground robots, contrary to conventional wisdom. I’m inclined to disagree with him, though. I think it’s inevitable, but it will probably take longer than anyone thinks.
More generally, I have mixed feelings about this stuff. I’ve praised President Obama for his increased use of drones to fight terrorists, but at the same time, it does raise some troubling legal issues. And the ground robots they have now do look pretty pathetic, to be honest. I imagine it’s harder to control a thing that has to maneuver on the ground than in the air, in some ways.
The major leap, of course, is going to be when the military decides to have autonomous robot soldiers. I know, I know, it sounds insane, but I think that A.I. will ultimately reach a point where we trust limited combat programs more than we’ll trust a human being to be able to make decisions in the heat of battle.
After all, they’ll say, it’s much too serious to leave that up to an emotional meatbag.