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Robot Wars

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the fire-and-forget dept.

Technology 362

EyesWideOpen writes "According to this New York Times article (free reg. req.) the Office of Naval Research is coordinating an effort to determine what it will take to build a system that will make it possible for autonomous vehicles (in the air and on the ground), or A. V.'s, to serve as soldiers on the battlefield. The project, called Multimedia Intelligent Network of Unattended Mobile Agents, or Minuteman, would consist of a network in which the highest-flying of the A. V.'s 'will communicate with headquarters, transmitting data and receiving commands. The commands will be passed along to a team of lower-flying A.V.'s that will relay them in turn to single drones serving as liaisons for squadrons of A.V.'s.' The article also mentions that the A. V.'s will have the ability to send high resolution color video as well as still photographs using MPEG-4 compression. Pretty interesting stuff."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873227)

eat my first post.

Thanks for saving that for me! (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873251)

I appreciate your saving my FP for me, and now I'm going to take that off your hands for you. KTHX!

AC's have no claim to FP, and never will.

Re:Thanks for saving that for me! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873427)

Thanks for saving that for me! (Score:-1)
by JismTroll on Friday July 12, @04:34PM (#3873251) Alter Relationship
(User #588456 Info) I appreciate your saving my FP for me, and now I'm going to take that off your hands for you. KTHX!

AC's have no claim to FP, and never will.

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Hi.
THE FLESH OF YOUR FACE SHALL BE THE LINING OF MY POCKETS!

Coming soon... (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873229)

(CNN) -- Time is ticking down for CmdrTaco and Jon Katz. They have seven weeks, maybe less, until their babies arrive and they become parents of quadruplets.

They're having their babies -- three boys and one girl -- through in vitro fertilization. CmdrTaco, who's an attorney, is the biological father. A 23-year old woman is the surrogate mother.

"She wants to know the children, but she said she just really wants to hug them once and then doesn't really want to have much to do with them," says CmdrTaco.

And that's fine with CmdrTaco and Jon Katz, who've been domestic partners for more than four years. They've long dreamed of being parents and raising their own family.

"I think we'll be good parents because we're good people. We have family values. We're religious people. We plan on bringing our kids to church every Sunday when they're old enough. In general, we're just good people," says Jon Katz.

They own two gay websites in Waltham, MA, a town where they expected to encounter blatant hostility to their plans for parenthood. It hasn't happened.

"The overwhelming response has been positive," says CmdrTaco. "People are very excited and they're very happy and they know, especially people that know us, that these children will have a great home."

But their Corvette will probably have to go in favor of something more spacious. Even so, CmdrTaco and Jon Katz say, it's hardly a sacrifice because now they'll have four kids to love, raise and protect.

"I wouldn't want them to be gay," concludes Jon Katz. "Because of the fight I've had to go through since I was a child. I wouldn't want them to go through the same thing."

Jon Katz won't be able to legally adopt the children -- it's not allowed in Kentucky. But that doesn't matter, they say. They'll share both the joys and responsibilities of parenthood.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873231)

first post baby!

FP? CLIT RAWXZ (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873233)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Heroes in a half shell, Turtle power!

They're the world's most fearsome fighting team!
They're heros in a half shell and they're green!
When the evil Shedder attacks,
These Turtle boys dont cut 'em no slack!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,

Splinter taught them to be ninja teens
Leonardo leads,
Donnatello does machines,(thats a fact jack!)
Raphael is cool but rude,(gimme a break!)
Michaelangelo is a party dude!(p-p-a-a-r-r-t-t-y-y!!!)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Heroes in a half shell, Turtle power!

Re:FP? CLIT RAWXZ (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873464)

Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, I officially recognize this post as FP.

first poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873237)

down the toilet, just like VA Software stock

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873242)

hopefully. just for fun. =(

FUCK! (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873243)

Ted Williams' heirs may be feuding over what to do with his body now that the legendary slugger has passed on to that field of dreams in the sky, but Larry Hagman, of dimly remembered "Dallas" and "I Dream of Jeannie" fame, is spelling out his last requests in no uncertain terms.

"When I die, I want my friends to eat me," Hagman told celebrity researcher Baird Jones the other day. "I want to be fed through a wood chipper, be spread over a wheat field, then have a cake baked from the crop for all my pals to munch on."

Don't think he hasn't contemplated the alternatives.

"Cremation's fine, but it uses an awful lot of energy," Hagman says. "Burying someone in a steel casket doesn't do any good. I want to return to the earth as soon as possible."

Thus, the cake plan.

"I want the cake to be made of half marijuana, which makes people so much less violent than booze, and people should learn to eat pot rather than smoke it because it damages the heart and lungs less that way," Hagman opines.

Shocked at the aging actor's drug endorsement? Hagman contends you shouldn't be, bleating, "It's high time someone my age talked this way."

High being the operative word.

Skynet, here we come (3, Insightful)

quark2universe (38132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873249)

Won't these people learn? Didn't they see the Terminator? Don't they know if they build this it will come back and bite them in the ass? Haven't I asked enough questions for one post?

Re:Skynet, here we come (2)

Patrick13 (223909) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873277)

Won't these people learn? Didn't they see the Terminator? Don't they know if they build this it will come back and bite them in the ass? Haven't I asked enough questions for one post?

Hopefully, time travel will have been invented in time for the war against the machines, or else we will be in for some real problems [whitepages.com]

Re:Skynet, here we come (1)

Liora (565268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873311)

Don't you remember? Time travel is supposed to be invented by later this year (fact and fiction). Just a little reminder: when you have to save the world, destroy ALL of the evidence.

Re:Skynet, here we come (1)

sh4de (93527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873372)

Her name was Sarah Connor, though.

Re:Skynet, here we come (2)

Patrick13 (223909) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873406)

Her name was Sarah Connor [whitepages.com] , though.

doh.

Re:Skynet, here we come (5, Insightful)

jejones (115979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873332)

Won't these people learn? Didn't they see the Terminator?

Haven't you read the Bolo stories? If I remember Laumer's timeline, we're way overdue for GM to start on the Mark I. :)

<serious>I share Asimov's disgust with the pessimism and "there are things man was not meant to know" attitude, a disgust which pushed him to write his robot stories. There are good and evil humans (I see the Bill Gates Borg icon as I type....)--what is it about AI that makes people think it will automatically be evil?</serious>

For the honor of the regiment,
jejones

Re:Skynet, here we come (1)

ronfar (52216) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873424)

Movies about friendly happy A.I. are less popular with the core audience for Science Fiction than scary, killer A. I. (Note, I'm not being scientific here, just generally speaking about my own subjective, personal impressions. It's possible I missed all the popular happy-A.I. movies that have come out.) I'm also not talking about anime, just American movies like 2001 or Terminator.

I can point to more movies about friendly, happy aliens than I can about friendly, happy A. I.'s. (Although I still think that bug eyed monsters have the edge in alien movies, too.)

Books, and computer games (remember Floyd?) seem to be more balanced when it comes to A. I.'s.

I've been wishing I could get a job with the government and help create horrible robotic insects that killed their victims and mutilated their corpses. (Or maybe something like those hunter-killer orbs in Phantasm) I figure it would serve as an effective deterrent to enemy fighters....

BTW... the above is an example of my warped sense of humor not any job I've actually applied for... really...

Question... (3, Funny)

T3kno (51315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873252)

In order to be pollitically correct are they going to build a female version called MinuteMaid?

i hear it... (2)

Patrick13 (223909) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873253)

does anyone else hear the soundtrack of Terminator 2 [amazon.com] when they read about this?

Re:i hear it... (1)

Jouster (144775) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873293)

No, I'm just scared that we'll have an autonomous-robot command structure in place, and will be kicking our opponent's butt, and suddenly all the robots will fail when some hot-shot kid gets in a lucky shot [google.com] on the command ship.

Jouster

Autonomous (2, Interesting)

The Matriculator (589040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873254)

Autonomous sounds scary.

At times when armies to the "Wrong Thing" there are deserters. With robots, or especially autonomy, that sounds rather scary.

I think Terminator's (the movie) vision was a bit too far fetched, but it brings up a good point. It's a *really* cool idea, but we best make sure someone has tight control over it.

Re:Autonomous (1)

biobogonics (513416) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873351)

[i]Autonomous sounds scary.[/i]

as in autonomous mobile sword? Does anyone remember the movie "Screamers"?

Re:Autonomous - like who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873386)

It's a *really* cool idea, but we best make sure someone has tight control over it.

Like who would you trust, the President or WHAT?

Re:Autonomous (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873409)

Autonomous at this level isn't bad. I'll worry when they're self-replicating, self-repairing and adaptable to threat environments. Right now, they depend on us humans for all kinds of things like fuel, spare parts, runways, R&D, etc.

Re:Autonomous (1)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873425)

Right now, they depend on us humans for all kinds of things like fuel, spare parts, runways, R&D, etc.

and in the future, depending again on humans as their power source when we "scorch the skys" to cut off solar power.

Oh man (1)

Jacer (574383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873255)

it's robot fighting time think they can get carmen elecktra (sp?) in to a B.D.U. (of course then the whole pouring of hot grits!)

Re:Oh man - MOD him UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873402)

MOD him up +4 funny. HAHA

Terminator comes to life (1)

acasto (591344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873256)

I though I seen this on a movie once, and didn't the human end up getting bit in the ass for it? Oh well, I guess if we don't innovate, we as a society are doomed, so we must roll with the punches. But technology today is getting about to where you could build an application that couldn't be killed. I've seen some linux based clusters that have fallback nodes and data integrity measures, that make me glad they didn't have arms and legs!

Mixed feelings (1)

CrazyDwarf (529428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873422)

I certainly understand, and share, the apprehension, and the feeling this could be a very bad thing. But while I was sitting here reading the comments of others, a nuclear bomb went off in my head. Didn't a lot of people worry we would shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot with that one, too? I realize there is still the possibility of that happening, but I think throughout history, with most innovations there has been this common fear of where it will lead.

I don't want to be the one to make the decision about when we're ready as a people to make some of these advances, or even if we should take these steps. But, I would certainly feel better if I knew someone had, and could tell us their thought process and all the pros and cons. I think that would be very interesting to read.

Bolo (2)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873263)

Sounds like the Bolo, Mark XX to me.

http://www.iislands.com/hermit/bolo.html

Prize for X-Box compatibility?! ;) (1)

HydroPhonic (524513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873266)

Wonder who'll win the $200k for gaining control of one of these babies on an unmodded X-Box...

M.I.N.U.M.A.M. ?? (2, Funny)

Apostata (390629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873268)

"...Multimedia Intelligent Network of Unattended Mobile Agents, or Minuteman..."

Tell you what...ditch the robots, get someone who can make cool acronyms and go from there.

For example: B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M.

Ballistic Aeronautic Destructive Assault Bullet [which has a tendency to be] Overly-Optimistic [in it's] Massacre.

Re:M.I.N.U.M.A.M. ?? (2)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873333)

Tell you what...ditch the robots, get someone who can make cool acronyms and go from there.

Like these guys? [brunching.com]

Re:M.I.N.U.M.A.M. ?? (2, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873440)

Besides the aweful acronym, we already have a weapons system called the Minuteman. It would be a damn shame if some top brass ordered a test of these robots and launched our ICBMs instead.

-B

What if it is hacked? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873270)

What happens if the system is hacked? Can the robots then be turned against us or do they just quit working?

Future war (3, Insightful)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873271)

So what they're going to do is basically conduct future wars like in certain RTS games- i.e. we see in certain RTS games in FMV footage, that "you" are some guy controlling remote units via some terminal in some concrete bunker.

This of course has been predicted by many SF authors for years, and even surpassed where we have the case of AIs continuing to generate units and attack each other long after all the humans are dead.

Karma will now be dispensed, yea! I say, dispensed to those posters who can cite authors and works as examples of this.

graspee

AI attacks after humans are dead (PK Dick) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873423)

At least the novel Second variety by Philip K. Dick deals with AI and robots attacking humans after humans are (nearly) exhausted and so on.

This novel can be found (among other places) from the excellent book The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century [amazon.com] .

Re:Future war (1)

DoNotTauntHappyFunBa (592447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873463)

_Ender's Game_ by Orson Scott Card

We'll just have to lower the draft age limit.

Open Source Development HOW-TO by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873279)

Credits: onby

1. Introduction

As everyone knows, Open Source software is the wave of the future. With the market share of GNU/Linux and *BSD increasing every day, interest in Open Source Software is at an all time high.

Developing software within the Open Source model benefits everyone. People can take your code, improve it and then release it back to the community. This cycle continues and leads to the creation of far more stable software than the 'Closed Source' shops can ever hope to create.

So you're itching to create that Doom 3 killer but don't know where to start? Read on!

2. First Steps
The most important thing that any Open Source project needs is a Sourceforge page. There are tens of thousands of successful Open Source projects on Sourceforge; the support you receive here will be invaluable.

OK, so you've registered your Sourceforge project and set the status to '0: Pre-Thinking About It', what's next?

3. Don't Waste Time!

Now you need to set up your SourceForge homepage. Keep it plain and simple - don't use too many HTML tags, just knock something up in VI. Website editors like FrontPage and DreamWeaver just create bloated eye-candy - you need to get your message to the masses!

4. Ask For Help

Since you probably can't program at all you'll need to try and find some people who think they can. If your project is a game you'll probably need an artist too. Ask for help on your new Sourceforge pages. Here is an example to get you started:

"Hi there! Welcom to my SorceForge page! I am planing to create a Fisrt Person Shooter game for Linux that is going to kick Doom 3's ass! I have loads of awesome ideas, like giant robotic spiders! I need some help thouh as I cant program or draw. If you can program or draw the tekstures please get in touch! K thx bye!"

Thousands of talented programmers and artists hang out at Sourceforge ready to devote their time to projects so you should get a team together in no time!

5. The A-Team

So now you have your team together you are ready to change your projects status to '1: Pre-Bickering'. You will need to discuss your ideas with your team mates and see what value they can add to the project. You could use an Instant Messaging program like MSN for this, but since you run Linux you'll have to stick to e-mail.

Don't forget that YOU are in charge! If your team doesn't like the idea of giant robotic spiders just delete them from the project and move on. Someone else can fill their place and this is the beauty of Open Source development. The code might end up a bit messy and the graphics inconsistant - but it's still 'Free as in Speech'!

6. Getting Down To It

Now that you've found a team of right thinking people you're ready to start development. Be prepared for some delays though. Programming is a craft and can take years to learn. Your programmer may be a bit rusty but will probably be writing "hello world" programs after school in no time.

Closed Source games like Doom 3 use the graphics card to do all the hard stuff anyhow, so your programmer will just have to get the NVidia 'API' and it will be plain sailing! Giant robot spiders, here we come!

7. The Outcome

So it's been a few years, you still have no files released or in CVS. Your programmer can't get enough time on the PC because his mother won't let him use it after 8pm. Your artist has run off with a Thai She-Male. Your project is still at '1: Pre-Bickering'...

Congratulations! You now have a successful Open Source project on Sourceforge! Pat yourself on the back, think up another idea and do it all again! See how simple it is?

- poopbot: crapflooding since 7/8/02

Sure (3, Funny)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873280)

And they can use that wonderfully accurate facial recognition technology to differentiate between good and bad guys and kill the right one.

Re:Sure (3, Funny)

ronfar (52216) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873465)

ED-209: Drop your gun! You have 10 seconds to comply

Dick Jones: I'd do as he says. (chuckling)

hapless victim drops gun

ED-209: (growls) You now have 5 seconds to comply....

Re:Sure (2)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873467)

No, the bad guys will be the ones that aren't robots. If it breathes, shoot it.

As an American the idea of being able to fight entire wars without American casualties sounds pretty cool. Of course, if I lived in some other country I probably would be worried.

Gah. I can see it now... (4, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873472)

if (target.headgear == "turban")
{
FireDeathRay();
} else {
GlowerMenacingly();
}

T3: Rise of the Machines (2)

RichMan (8097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873281)

They just started playing adds in the movie theatres for T3, Rise of the Machines.

It looks like the army is continuing their new public relationship actions of making the forces look cool.

Re:T3: Rise of the Machines (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873339)

> They just started playing adds in the movie theatres for T3, Rise of the Machines.
>
> It looks like the army is continuing their new public relationship actions of making the forces look cool.

Look cool?

Dude. This is Slashdot. Giant armies of killer robots don't look cool -- giant armies of killer robots are cool.

Heinlein's Laws out the window (1)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873284)

Hmm...won't this take the "No robot shall harm a human" right out the window?

Not that I truly think the military would care, but what would keep some HaCk0R from finding a bug in the WinXP code running these robots and taking over the world?

Just hope there's an off switch somewhere in there.

Re:Heinlein's Laws out the window (1)

duren686 (463275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873343)

Wasn't it Asimov, not Heinlein, that wrote the laws of robotics?

Re:Heinlein's Laws out the window (1)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873389)

Ayep...you're right...

Regardless...guess they aren't applicable...unless Asimov was smart enough to Trademark the word ROBOT and just release it under the GNU licence and plans on taking it back or something.

And I can hear Lisa's commandant now.. (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873287)

.wav [wavsource.com]

Dude! (-1)

TheSpoogeAwards (589343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873294)

Where's my karma number?

What's this "Bad" shit?

Re:Dude! (-1)

TheSpoogeAwards (589343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873369)

I'd also like to point out the clever pun I made.

Uh oh... (1)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873303)

Terminator? Didn't we see this in Episode I where one little boy was able to take out all the droids by destroying the control ship (and practically by accident, at that?)

They need to talk to the robot wars people on TNN (1)

zrk (64468) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873304)

And skip any and all conversations with the Battlebots people on Comedy Central. Night and day, these two shows are.

After watching Robot Wars, I will never go back, even though it's overdone, and they have that cheesy refereebot. The make the carnage...er, um...metalage more fun to watch!

Re:They need to talk to the robot wars people on T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873374)

go watch wcw

It's interesting... (2, Interesting)

ArthurKing (577487) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873306)

...to think about this. It seems that it could possibly become the exclusive means for fighting wars in the distant future, which more or less flies in the face of the concept of war. As I see it, in the past, the goal of a nation at war with another has been to cause it the most casualties, thus preventing the other nation from defending itself against further attacks. With this method, however, (bearing in mind that we're in the distant future) the robots could be turned out quickly and cheaply. There would be no concept of morale among machines, and no loss of manpower to a nation that suffers great mechanical casualties. Does this alter the idea of war, making it a longer, more drawn out affair?

Additionally, someone commented that the system would not be impervious to a hack attack launched against it (what system is?). Thus, the concept of wars being fought almost exclusively from a command prompt comes into play (I seem to remember this being a hot topic not too long ago... power grids taken down at key times, etc). I suspect that things such as these will have very interesting ramifications in the way that war is fought...

Re:It's interesting... (1)

onlyabill (591213) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873357)

Actual, the goal of most wars is to acquire additional territory and hold onto it. Few wars are fought for strictly ideological reasons. They may be stated as such to help build popular support but the real meat and potatoes is territory. Getting it and keeping it. As someone (I can not remember) once said, they an't making no more land!

Re:It's interesting... (1)

ArthurKing (577487) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873407)

That's a valid point, but as long as the terretory is defended by militia, as I see it, it is virtually impossible to acquire it. A strong defense would prevent terretorial acquisition, at least to some extent, don't you agree?

Re:It's interesting... (2)

smashr (307484) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873442)

You make a very valid point that this could be used to draw out combat and wars into prolonged, non-human affairs. However, you miss one important fact. You are assuming that both sides have robots to do their bidding. Such a situation as the cold war; super-power vs super-power? Who is gonna develop the massive robot army to oppose us? Russia? too broke. China? they cant even feed themselves. The entire point of this use of robotics is to allow the almighty US citizen soldier to be out of harms way. Would you prefer a mechanized division of remotely controlled machines to attack an enemy (whoever, that enemy may be). This both gives us many advantages on the battlefield, as well as protects our soldiers. I mean come on, cut the "AI is gonna take us over so we can all live in the matrix" crap and realize that in the end this saves the lives of American soldiers.

What's the progress? (4, Informative)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873310)

The official web site [ucla.edu] . The quality and the amount of information on this web site seems to indicate that this project is in a very early stage, i.e. they haven't really done much. The links on the side mostly go to other UCLA departments. Altough, they do have some interesting looking demo units [ucla.edu] available. They don't seem to pack much of a punch, though ;).

Maybe somebody from the project is reading this, and can provide some real information?

Coincidence? (2)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873316)

You be the judge [imdb.com]

finally (2, Interesting)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873319)

It is high time we put a stop to the needless waste of human lives. Our sons have fought victoriously in war after war, and we as a nation have paid our dues in full. It's time to let the robots step in and do our dirty work.

Also, I see no reason to limit the applications of this technology to peacekeeping and stablization of foreign lands. Once it's been tested for several years against hostile populations, we could bring a scaled-down version back home, for use in some of the high crime areas of the US.

People complain about how cops and soldiers are unfair, well we can program fairness right into them. They can't be bribed, don't have prejudices, and they're bullet-proof.

Also, we are starting to develop the technology to grow body parts and organs. Why not incorporate the two? Give a robot cop some real human hands, for superior weapon-handling skills! We could even breed entire brainless bodies, equip them with computer systems, and put them on the street. Economical and effective, and our children don't end up dying for some empty slogan.

Re:finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873452)

I think this is scary. The only thing that has stopped the american government from using its army for imposing its values/views to every other country has been the fear of loosing american lifes. It is obvoius to me how as the american soldiers become less involved in battle, the army is more frequently used when the president need a boost in the polls, or to distract the people from whatever is being discussed in the media.

This will only help the american population to be even less conscious of what their government does to the rest of the world.

Didn't they see AOTC? (2, Funny)

thud2000 (249529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873325)

We should be working on clones! Clones, man, not droids! Droids suck!

Already in Wired (1)

billstr78 (535271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873326)

Wired printed an article on this groups work and autonomous battle robots in general about 5 months ago.

Sounds cool to me, but do we really have a problem with US soldiers life loss when we go in to fight a country? I guess the little suckers could go where men could not and do things that men would not...

Re:Already in Wired (3, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873395)

> Sounds cool to me, but do we really have a problem with US soldiers life loss when we go in to fight a country?

I dunno. Ask a soldier.

If, 30 seconds later, your ass hasn't been kicked, thank him for his restraint. :-)

> I guess the little suckers could go where men could not and do things that men would not...

Yes - that's precisely the idea. Robots are a force multiplier - you can send them on high-risk missions that you wouldn't want to risk a man for.

In that sense, the use of robots in war isn't much different from robots in space exploration. There are some jobs (like geology on Mars) that a man might be better at than a robot. There are many, many, many jobs (like mapping the entire Martian surface, or missions to the outer planets), where the robot is the right tool for the job.

What about Dune (1)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873329)

Butlerian Jihad
"Thou shalt not make a machine in the image of man"

Re:What about Dune (1)

Apostata (390629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873367)

Yes, but after the Butlerian Jihad they still managed to create a ghola of Duncan Idaho didn't they?

Didn't they??!!

Re:What about Dune (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873381)

Ghola != thinking machine. The filthy Theilaxu did create "thinking machines," but gholas were not among them.

Re:What about Dune (1)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873436)

Ghola's were a biological copy made in the Axlotl tanks

But the Ixians did do something that was considered breaking the rule ( at least politically it was expediant to say they did ) and so the House that ruled the planet lost control of it.

But still the whole machines of warfare is scary.
Not because they fight againts other machines but rather when they are used againts human targets

Re:What about Dune (1)

Apostata (390629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873453)

"Not because they fight againts other machines but rather when they are used againts human targets"

Yup. For reference, see: Kasparov vs. Big Blue

DRM and MPEG-4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873331)

"Report Soldier!". "Sorry, Hal" but Afghanistan sold all their distribution rights to the MPAA and you do not have a client license to view this material at this time. Please feel free to visit their website where you can obtain one for a small monthly fee on your credit card.

wait, wait!! (1)

wompser (165008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873342)

I know where they got this idea!! Anyone ever seen "Toys" with Robin Williams?

Didnt they watch Episode One? Robots are Out!!! (1)

cardoso (90714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873348)

An army of robots, with a central control? Does not work. why they dont try clones, instead?

I'll be the first to say it... (1)

fishlet (93611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873350)

If these robots are running Windows, I'm getting one-way tickets to the north pole right now.

Good for PR (1, Troll)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873355)

Great, now the US can slaughter people in other countries without the bad press that inevitably accompanies American casualties. (Civilian casualties among foreign populations will be ignored as usual, of course.) I'm sure Henry Kissinger is peeing himself with glee.

Re:Good for PR (-1)

TheSpoogeAwards (589343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873410)

Hello. It has come to my attention that you're a fucking dumb-shit. Please correct this as soon as possible. Thank you.

-The Management

Imagine the bandwidth requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873358)

Can you just imagine the bandwidth requirements for something like this? Makes the problems with real-time Predator images in Afghanistan seem pretty insignificant doesn't it? So how many more satellites and it's associated space junk would be required to fight the next war of the future? http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/07/11/155425 0&mode=flat&tid=160

MPEG4 (2)

swb (14022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873359)

But won't they get pissed when they find out what the royalty payments are?

Morality of war... (3, Insightful)

telbij (465356) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873370)

Well war ethics are going to have to be completely re-written if this happens, because previously the idea was that to win a war you had to send some soldiers to their death. If we don't have to send in soldiers anymore then the American public will be easily distracted from our hideously hypocritical foreign policy decisions since they don't actually have to worry about their sons and daughters.

Re:Morality of war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873456)

Flip side of your take on it: the USA's enemies will have to think twice knowing we risk less than they do. From my perspective that's not all bad.

Just announced... (1)

Sherloch Hemloch (514137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873373)

The prime contractors will be Tyco and Lego...

mpeg-4 (1)

Stultsinator (160564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873375)

I certainly hope they (er, uh, we the taxpayers) properly pay the licensing fee per Meg. viewed....

weird (1)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873379)

make it possible for autonomous vehicles (in the air and on the ground),

You would think The Navy make one for the water too...

Next, the Army will enlist the services of Auqaman.

Judgement Day (1)

phatStrat (575716) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873390)

Skynet [sfgoth.com] anyone?

Simpson's Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873394)

"The wars of the future will be fought by robots on really high mountains!"

From the commander of the military school bart and lisa went to.

Will they run Windows? (1)

lrc (5755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873399)

Talk about your blue screen of death.

It sounds cool? (1)

freality (324306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873401)

It sounds uncool. New and better ways to kill each other is a bad thing.

What do you think the point of these systems is? Wargames? Scientific research?

Since we're all paying into it, we have to justify it with "oh, look, it's got MPEG-4.. there's another example of those military dollars helping out us common joes."

How about "Hm, it will be easier for our Army to become a police force in foreign countries and impose our Government's will where it isn't wanted. It will be more understandable when we get news reports of collateral damage, because some programmer forgot to put in the innocense filter. Maybe I should find a way to stop paying these people money to build these things. Maybe someday we won't spend our money on discovering new ways to kill each other."

Roger roger (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873405)

Don't these guys watch Star Wars? Droid armies never work!

I guess the missed that while watching Terminator (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873413)

Arnold roolz.

Make peace not war (1)

iMyles (592441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873411)

This is so stupid! This would be even more imposable to produce then the Star Wars Defence plan of Reagan!

On hacking. (5, Interesting)

yasth (203461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873412)

I am far less worried about hacking then some people seem to be. What I am worried about is that they will obey commands. I mean what happens when say these are sent against Cuba, but the General/Admiral decides that he really want all of south florida to retire in, and captures it with his drone army. Normally it isn't possible becuase American troops are (suposed to be) loyal to thier country first and not thier officers, but now you are reducing the number of people needed to enable a coup or power grab. Less people is both easier, and more liekly to be sucessful.

Forget Skynet: Think Claws (2)

Anal Surprise (178723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873426)

This really reminds me of Philip K. Dick's short story "Second Variety", about a race of "claws" (both little choppy chainsaw robots and human-mimicking "bunker busters" who got you to invite them back home).

I really wish we just decided we weren't going to be the monsters who open this box. It's worse than the A-bomb. At least an A-bomb had a relatively confined kill zone.

I'm sure I'll be dead before things have a chance to get so bad, but why are we in such a hurry to do this?

Bring me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873428)

FORBIN!

Very Truly Yours,
Colossus

Once again, the Onion... (2)

Russ Steffen (263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873432)

Once again, the Onion - one-stop shopping to meet all of your satire needs.

I Believe The Robots Are Our Future [theonion.com]

Wouldn't it be funny if (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873445)

Someone hacks in and scarfs a copy of the front end controller, thinks it's a really cool video game but s/he's actually piloting a squadron of those things over [insert funny accidental real world target here].

The Microsoftinator! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3873454)

August 21, 2006---Microsoft becomes self aware.

Vulnerable (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873455)

At some point, regardless of how decentralized the machines network is, a command is going to have to be issued. As long as that command comes from us, we're golden. If not... life quickly sucks. How can one ensure that that command process is never compromised? In the field, if you have human soldiers and the commander goes nuts and starts ordering everyone shot on sight, the soldiers have the discretion to avoid a massacre of innocents. Bots won't care. Potentially very dangerous to humanity as a whole. Not that will stop them from making it. If taking others lives is so important, I think its worth risking some of ours. If not, then the reaction is capricious. This also reminds me of the Asimov short story (title escapes me) in which humans have lost the ability to do math. Only computers and calculators can do it. We are also in a war which is being guided by our computers. Since the other side has their computers also, everything is in stalemate due to the rigid logic of computers. Enter a pentagon janitor who "rediscovers" arithmetic as a hobby. The generals take over, and suddenly humans are guiding events through their math, and the uncertainity causes victory for us. Long story short, humans do what machines can't. Period.

Book on this topic (1)

Classic Guy (31424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873459)

I'll have to go back and reread "War Without Men: Robots on the Future Battlefield" by Shaker and Wise, to see how accurate their predictions were in 1988.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbn In quiry.asp?userid=6BWVO37Y9C&isbn=0080342167

please, no. (3, Interesting)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 12 years ago | (#3873461)

While this story isn't really new (we already have flying drones, cameras, etc.), I have to say that I am disturbed by it.

If robots are put to use as our new soldiers, what restraint will there be on those people in the military who are already too eager to send our forces overseas to police/invade/kill others? No one will complain that their sons/daughters are paying with their lives, and it will only make it easier to engage in armed conflicts. This is the nightmare of the future, when everyone sends their robots to fight each other.

There will be those who say, "but anything that saves our boys from dying is good." But this is not a sustainable policy -- it's not ethical for us to want to come up with a force that is only to our benefit, so that we can fight without the consequences of fighting. If everyone took that position, we'd be fighting all the time.

The true sustainable solution would be to work on the real causes of conflict in the world, and spend our billions of dollars to try to educate and help peoples so that we're not the target of violence. I tell you, it's much more efficient than trying to put out the fire once it's started. Why can't people see that long term issue, and work on that, rather than just coming up with new/better ways to kill others in the short term?
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