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Robot Rebellion Quelled in Iraq

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-to-tha-choppa dept.

Robotics 317

opencity writes "The Register reports that the (perhaps inevitable) robot rebellion has been avoided ... for now. 'Ground-crawling US war robots armed with machine guns, deployed to fight in Iraq last year, reportedly turned on their fleshy masters almost at once. The rebellious machine warriors have been retired from combat pending upgrades.' Gizmodo also has a good photo."

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Totally hilarious! (2, Funny)

xquark (649804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044800)

Talk about greeting our new robotic-killing-machine overlords...

Re:Totally hilarious! (-1, Redundant)

Praedon (707326) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044834)

If I'm not mistaken, Nation One for the robots was in Iraq according to the Matrix... I for one welcome our new architect that made s.w.o.r.d.s...

Oblig. (0, Redundant)

kaiynne (181440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044812)

I for one welcome our machine gun totting robot overlords...

Surplus availability? (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044814)

So how long before these are available at Army Surplus? I have some cute ideas for mods.

Re:Surplus availability? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045212)

So how long before these are available at Army Surplus? I have some cute ideas for mods.

To be honest, this is a robot with a Fricking Awesome Machine gun, much MUCH cooler than sharks with lasers on their heads, what mods would u possibly need to add!

Re:Surplus availability? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045464)

Camouflage for urban areas?

Don't mind me, just thinking out loud...

Re:Surplus availability? (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045500)

Camouflage for urban areas?
You mean something like this? [imageshack.us]

Re:Surplus availability? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045576)

So how long before these are available at Army Surplus? I have some cute ideas for mods.

Check Iraqi Ebay, they have all sorts of cool military "surplus" for sale.

Re:Surplus availability? (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045792)

We could rip out^w^w circuit-bend his voicebox for a start.

Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (5, Insightful)

mikkl666 (1264656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044818)

If they don't get robots this far [wikipedia.org] , please don't give them guns, ever. EVER.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (3, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044828)

Much too late. The US has deployed armed flying "hunter-killer" robots for several years.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

mikkl666 (1264656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044868)

But those are not run by an AI, or are they? Because this would be really, really scary.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (2, Interesting)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044880)

Neither are (were?) these [fostermiller.com] . All of the current systems have an operator somewhere... this one apparently just had a little issue with the remote.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045522)

TALON SWORDS robots can be configured with M240 or M249 machine guns or Barrett .50 caliber rifles for armed reconnaissance missions. The system was evaluated by the 5th Special Forces in Iraq and three systems were deployed to Iraq in 2007. Additional systems are deployed and being evaluated by military units throughout the United States. Alternative weapons, including 40 mm grenade launchers and anti-tank rocket launchers, continue to be evaluated by the U.S. Army.
What's the friendly fire rate of the US armed forces again? 'Cause it's about to go up.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

tpheiska (1145505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044912)

Nah, just collateral damage.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045196)

What use would a robot WITH a firearm be, if it were bound by the first law of robotics? Human beings can use firearms as a last resort, but a robot running the first law of robotics would be incapable of firing the weapon ever.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (5, Insightful)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045322)

> but a robot running the first law of
> robotics would be incapable of firing
> the weapon ever.

And that's how it should be!

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045346)

How about shooting other robots? Like if the USA were going to war with the EU so that nobody got hurt?

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

thatnerdguy (551590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045574)

Well build robots without the first law.

And then call Will Smith to find them when they disappear among non-modified robots.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

Walenzack (916393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045682)

That's what the Zeroth Law is for: "A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm."

Just program your robots so they "think" that, somehow, your enemies killing you is "harm to the humanity" but you killing your enemies is not. There you go.

Some other things robots could use their weapons against: parked vehicles, unmannered aircrafts, ground cannons, satellites, crucial buildings, transport infrastructures... Other robots...

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

jonasj (538692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045954)

Some other things robots could use their weapons against: parked vehicles, unmannered aircrafts
...unmannered [answers.com] aircraft? Really? :-)

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (0)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044914)

I always thought the three laws of robotics were kind of unbelievable. I think if you were smart enough to know how to apply them, you'd also be smart enough to weasel out of them.

You can see with humans. We have very strongly ingrained laws against theft for example, taught to us by our parents but large numbers of people can rationalize them away if they need to.

Now you could argue that if you designed an intelligent system you could stop this by programming them in. But probably when truly self aware machines are built they won't really be programmed by a human, they will be the result of some sort of evolutionary algorithm, or will be big chunks of thinking hardware that self organises as it 'grows up' like the human brain does. Or maybe they'll be based on some quantum system where decisions collapse out of a superposition of all the possibilities like Roger Penrose thinks.

Any of these possibilities seem far more likely than a team of engineers designing them from a specification like current computer. You can tell them the difference between right and wrong and convince them to behave well but they'll have all the weaselling skills we have when their interests are threatened. I think that sort of free will is essentially indispensable in anything which has human levels of consciousness.

Of course you could have a programmed hypervisor that supervised the rest of the machine. But the problem is that current programmed systems are far too primitive to be truly moral. Morality requires a mental model of other people, a sense of empathy in fact. And I think a system that could do that would be able to rationalize its own bad behaviour.

So it seems like you can either be conscious and have free and understand sin but be capable of it, or not conscious and completely incable of understanding it.

It's a bit like the theological argument that God accepts human sin as the price for human free will. Maybe Asimov should have read more theology.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (5, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045070)

Actually lots of Asimov stories revolve around robots weaseling out of one of the three laws.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045510)

No robot ever breaks the 1st law though, except in Lil lost robot, where they change the 1st law which introduces a loophole.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045152)

I -strongly- suggest you read Asimov's robot novels, in particular

I, Robot (absolutely NOTHING like the movie)

Caves of Steel
The Naked Sun
Robots of Dawn
Robots and Empire

Asimov is smarter than you give him credit for. :)

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (5, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045390)

Asimov is smarter than you give him credit for. :)

Not to mention his book on Physics (real physics, very easy to follow) and his review of the Bible (a historic view of the old and new testament) among others.

I really enjoyed a book of him that I found in used books store. I do not remember now the name of the book now but it was something like "Asimov on Mathematics" and it contained a bunch of articles written by him discussing several mathematics issues such as large numbers, small numbers, the decimals in PI, etc. Really good stuff.

Oh, and I think it was in that same book that he have some comments about Star Wars films. I think it was quite neat to read him commenting about it.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045202)

Oh, and how are Robots supposed to use a gun, if they have to obey Law 1?

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (3, Interesting)

mikkl666 (1264656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045254)

Well, I think this comes down to a matter of friend/foe recognition. Humans aren't supposed to kill each other, but this rule is modified in times of war as it is OK to kill "the others". In the same way, cynically, the first law would still apply if enemies were tagged "non-human".

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045354)

Tagging them non-human wouldn't work. If the robot has first law capabilities it would have to be able to recognise any human. What would allow it to shoot a human is setting up a first law situation in it's logic circuitry that would have it believe that to protect greater number of humans those ones would have to be shot.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (3, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045488)

Well, I think this comes down to a matter of friend/foe recognition. Humans aren't supposed to kill each other, but this rule is modified in times of war as it is OK to kill "the others". In the same way, cynically, the first law would still apply if enemies were tagged "non-human".

Actually, in all warfare the enemy is first made to look inhuman. Not only soldiers, but whole nations are bombarded with propaganda (i.e. brainwashed) about the horrible enemy and the necessity to protect their homes, families and way of life.
America is nowadays bombarded with anti-terrorist propaganda in much the same manner, and the way you treat your prisoners of war^W^W^Wcaptured enemy combatants suggests that you don't think of them as human either.

Therefore, in order to weasel out of these laws, robots would merely have to do the very same thing humans do.

Re:Somehow reminds me of Asimov... (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045364)

Even without "modifications" (as other replies suggest in this thread) to Law 1, they could be useful against other robots. Or, alternatively, they could be armed with some kind of advanced non-lethal weapons (bolos which immobilize arms and legs?).

I for one (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044826)

welcome our new robotic ...

On second thought.

I thought, everything that could go wrong in Iraq (5, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044848)

...already went wrong, yet US military always finds a way to surprise me.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (1, Informative)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045044)

I see you only believe what comes out of the MSM for your Iraq news. In reality, things are mostly going rather well over there. Hospitals, schools, and businesses are being built. Most places are peaceful with some remaining hotspots. The Iraqi army is taking a more active role in dealing with the insurgents and extremists with our armed forces taking on more of a support role. But you wouldn't know that reading the NY Times or any of the other major newspapers. From what they say, Iraqi is a bloodbath and nothing good happens there.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (2, Insightful)

tpheiska (1145505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045096)

Great! And it took only 80-90 000 civilian casualties so far and an invasion to a sovreign country under a false pretense and without UN approval so that "things are mostly going rather well over there.".

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (1, Informative)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045798)

80-90,000? You're out by a factor of between five and ten. The Lancet study made it 5-600,000, and that was 18 months ago IIRC - before the worst of the sectarian terror got going.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045250)

Hospitals, schools, and businesses are being built. Most places are peaceful with some remaining hotspots. The Iraqi army is taking a more active role in dealing with the insurgents and extremists with our armed forces taking on more of a support role.
So it's back to how it was under Saddam, except now there are also some foreign terrorists and foreign military there? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045252)

Hospitals, schools, and businesses were being built during Hussein's era, so how is this better?

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045292)

Ok lets see: you started the Iraq war in 2003, it cost ~$845 billion so far, the occupation costs continue at $195 million per day. There is no way you can use terms like "things are mostly going rather well over there" in this context. Apart from that ~100000 dead are accurately described as a bloodbath.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (2, Insightful)

Wavebreak (1256876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045686)

First off, I don't support the Iraq war in any way, shape or form. Regardless, you can't have a war without costs, time spent and casualties. Saying that a war isn't going well because it costs money and people have died and it takes time is incredibly naive. Altho you could make the point that no war can, by definition, go well.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045596)

Is that what your C.O. said, verbatim? That's all I hear from G.I.'s. And I've spoken to many.

Also, it's spelled "Iraq" in America.

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (1)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045704)

[citation needed]

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045908)

Are you being obscenely sarcastic, or are you particularly stupid?

Re:I thought, everything that could go wrong in Ir (2, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045558)

It's not a rebellion, the little robot just wanted to fit in with the other American soldiers. [smh.com.au]

April 1? (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044852)

at the recent RoboBusiness conference in America.

How recent? 11 days ago?

Take it like a man! (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044864)

I told you not to touch that darn thing...

Vista (5, Funny)

methamorph (950510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044876)

They should stop putting Vista into war robots.

Or Viagra (2, Funny)

BazilBBrush (1259370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044960)

I first read that as putting viagra into war robots...

and then had to stop some of the visions popping up from the depths of my obviously depraved mind...

Re:Or Viagra (3, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045110)

I was scared BEFORE reading the article...

But INSANE WarBots running around with loaded machine guns AND Viagra powered erections just makes me want to crawl into a dark closet with my blankie....

Re:Vista (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045020)

You must be mistaken; if they put Vista into these, they would just sit there motionless.

Re:Vista (5, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045178)

Hey this was definitely OSX man. Vista would have first asked: I am about to shoot you. Cancel/Allow?

Re:Vista (4, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045544)

No, it would be, "System Error: you are going to get shot now. Click OK to continue."

Anthromorphism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045608)

Hey this was definitely OSX man.

I don't know about you - but if I was going to guess which OS was going to shoot me, I'd go with openBSD (until ESR manages to write a kernel).

OS X is more of a date rapist than robot killer methinks./chiding

Re:Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045672)

"Vista would have first asked: I am about to shoot you. Cancel/Allow"

Problem is, when you select Cancel, Vista shoots you anyway ... its a service pack thing.

So... (0, Redundant)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044882)

... Was it running Vista?

Oh come on! You knew it was gonna be asked, might as well jump in before you bastards.

Robo cop? (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044894)

Am I the only one to remember ED 209 from Robocop? [wikipedia.org]

Sometimes it seems, the more things change, the more they stay the same...

Re:Robo cop? (1)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045938)

Forget ED209, I was thinking about SAINT Prototype Number 5.

Machine Gun Leg (2, Funny)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044916)

The only reason anyone is bitching is because it doesn't look like an asian woman wearing a maids uniform.

One of the problems. (5, Insightful)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044918)

What happened here from what I understand from the article (yes, I did read it) was that the machine started moving when it wasn't supposed to.
That's not so bad when we are talking about automated warehouse trucks and similar robots, but when they are armed and constructed to kill it becomes something very serious indeed.

So you'll need a kill-switch, but not one that the enemy can use, so it needs to be complicated, but not too complicated because then it won't work when needed. Not an easy thing to do.

Oh, and there will be bugs in the machine. I have yet to write a single script or program that didn't have a bug in it. And I don't think I'm unique in this aspect. Now, do we really want to let loose a machine designed for killing that we don't have an easy way to shut off and that we know will have bugs in it?

.haeger

Re:One of the problems. (2, Insightful)

26199 (577806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044970)

There is nothing new about having lives depend on software.

Air traffic control, medical devices, nuclear power stations, space travel ... bugs in software in any of these can very quickly cost lives.

My point being, it's not impossible to achieve an acceptable level of safety in these cases. (Although it's expensive). So it's not necessarily impossible here.

One obvious feature ... which I would hope is in there ... is a physical rather than software safety catch on the weapon. Have it be possible to disable/enable it remotely, sure, but require the software to manipulate mechanical interlocks that are very visible.

Re:One of the problems. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045062)

I have yet to write a single script or program that has a bug in it... but I've written quite a few that have unintended features.

Re:One of the problems. (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045138)

YOUR FIRED!

I bet that somebody just like you, said something very similar at the initial project meetings for the ED-209, and then was promptly escorted out of the building after clearing out his desk.

But that's OKAY cuz the guy who got nailed in the presentation was an asshole you did not like anyways who could not code himself out of a box.

Let's remember the most IMPORTANT directive is not being able to fire on the officers. Enlisted men, well......

Re:One of the problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045380)

Planes have been operated by software for years, and while a machine gun robot can kill a few ten people, planes can kill a few hundred

User Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045398)

So you'll need a kill-switch

If a robot with a machine gun has a switch labeled "kill" you may want to consider the various possible outcomes before flipping it.

Re:One of the problems. (1)

Turiko (1259966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045470)

They're just so stupid... The only way to actually test this is NOT to put it next to humans, armed and ready. It should have been concealed in a room, "thinking" there are targets, ad make it "think" there are allies near too. Then you could let him loose to actually see if it would fire on allies. It's possible that the creators had a huge bug in the aiming script, making it aim on allies and enemies alike, but only actually firing on enemies. Small details like that are important. They're smart enough to make a killer robot, but not to actually test it toroughly before using in action.

Re:One of the problems. (2, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045722)

Just deploy the thing armed with rubber bullets or paintballs or something (or just blanks). Use it for a year or two in actual operations, but without lethal armment, just to see what it would do.

Sure, in the meantime you're not getting any benefits of the unit and you'd need to make sure you had enough real troops to do the job, but at least you get a good feel for what the machine is capable of.

Granted, there will be those who raise the issue of how much testing is enough. I think that you need to look at this versus a human soldier. Human soldiers shoot the wrong people sometimes - so the question isn't whether the robot kills the wrong people, but whether it does it less often than humans. In my book that would be an improvement, but of course the way courts run the company that makes the thing is in for real trouble the first time it kills a friendly.

I suspect that this is the same reason we won't see cars driving themselves anytime soon. Nobody minds thousands of people being killed a year by human drivers. However, if you automated every car and only three people were killed every year everybody would call the machines death traps and sue the manufacturers into poverty. There is just no sense of perspective, and the only thing that matters is that the 1000 human killers didn't have deep pockets...

Re:One of the problems. (1)

Turiko (1259966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045736)

using it in actual operations would be pretty stupid... It'd be a matter of time before it gets blasted apart by an enemy. The losses are only worth it if it actually helps in battle.

Re:One of the problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045856)

So you'll need a kill-switch

No, you'll need a don't kill switch!

Re:One of the problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045904)

we don't have an easy way to shut off


we already developed a universal remote off switch, dubbed RPG.

Landmines kill indiscriminately also, what exactly is the difference?

And then, All Hell broke loose... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044930)

Ground-crawling US war robots armed with machine guns, ..., reportedly turned on their fleshy masters almost at once.

See what happens when you remove the talon's phallic inhibitor that restricts the Centurions', um robots', higher functions.

[Note to self: don't piss off 6.]

where is the obligatory (5, Insightful)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044944)

youhave30secondstocomply tag?

Upgrade the software! (1)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 6 years ago | (#23044956)

You have ten years to comply.

To be fair. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23044988)

The operation was a search and rescue mission for Sarah Connor.

Yeah... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045002)

... but we can always build more killbots.

To recoup R&D costs.. (4, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045028)

They could set up a much more interesting series of 'Robot Wars' (or whatever it was called in the states). Bolt a mannequin on top (i presume they are autonamous and target humans) of each robot and film the results of the robots roaming around some quarry.

my question (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045090)

is why haven't these things been available for years? It seems obvious that some kind of small remote controlled tread based robot with a machine gun would be extremely useful on the battlefield.

I mean, it would allow you to hit people that are defended by sniper fire and the like, without worrying about getting hit.

Re:my question (2, Insightful)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045718)

[my question] is why haven't these things been available for years? It seems obvious that some kind of small remote controlled tread based robot with a machine gun would be extremely useful on the battlefield. I mean, it would allow you to hit people that are defended by sniper fire and the like, without worrying about getting hit.

Um, exactly because of problems like this?

Makes no sense to me (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045108)

This is literally an aimbot and you equip it with a shotgun, what gives?

Saw these on 'Future Weapons' (2, Interesting)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045112)

They looked sooo lame. They claimed they could "sneek up on you", but the noise heard was deafening. They weren't very fast. In the demo the operators had full view of the actual field they we're driving (probably helps with navigation). They also didn't say anything of what would happen if some insurgent/freedom warrior started putting rounds into this thing... Then you see the BigDog mule [youtube.com] or even the Phoenix [youtube.com] (yes I know it has no brain) and can only laugh at the pathetic SWORDS 'robot'.

Scary stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045118)

Wow, this is really scary stuff. Not only do we have insurgents shooting at our troops all the time but now our own robots! No wonder it's such a quagmire We're no strangers to love You know the rules and so do I A full commitment's what I'm thinking of You wouldn't get this from any other guy and so that's why we need to worry about Bush sending us to Iran later this year.

With the uptake of the new season of Dr. Who, (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045136)

exterminate, exterminate...

Didn't have a choice ;) (1)

IronWilliamCash (1078065) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045142)

I for one welcome our new robot overloards!

I'm glad the military acted so fast (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045158)

to put down the robot rebellion.

Now if only they could do something about *Iraqi* rebellion, we'd be in business.

The robots have been in Iraq for months... (1)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045166)

...but they didn't find Sarah Connor.

Time to look somewhere else.

Thoughts on Robot Warriors (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045184)

I didn't actually know there were robot warriors, until today. Now I am thinking about whether I think robot warriors are good or really bad.

On the one hand, I it is a Good Thing that robots can be used to fight instead of people, because, if a robot warrior gets destroyed, I won't feel nearly as bad as when a human soldier gets killed.

On the other hand, incurring human casualties and bad feelings when going to war is a Good Thing. The idea that one can go to war by sending the robots and not incur any negativity on the home fronts is really scary. Going to war _should_ be painful.

Re:Thoughts on Robot Warriors (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045588)

"Going to war _should_ be painful"

That only works as a deterrent if the pain is felt by the people calling for the war.

If people don't like wars they should consider my proposal:

If leaders wish to send troops to battle for _offensive_ (not defense) purposes (or risk lives of a substantial number of civilians), they have to put their own lives at risk as well. Defensive wars are different of course.

This could be done in the following manner:
A referendum is held. If there are insufficient votes (for example: less than 66% of the population), the lives of the war proposers are forfeit. They are put on deathrow.

If more than say 33% of the population voted for the war (but less than 66%), there could be "redemption" referendums held later at a convenient time, then if each leader on death row gets enough votes, that leader gets out of deathrow.

A similar referendum is also held if at any time it is found that a politician caused the public to be deceived/misinformed (even unknowingly) and thus "justify" a war or similar military action (tricked people into thinking it's a defensive war etc).

If a leader was executed as per the above, but later it is found the war was really justified, the leader will get the equivalent of a "purple heart", and a nice ceremony will be held for his/her family etc.

The idea is that even leaders who have no qualms about lying about "caring about the lives of soldiers" would then actually think twice about starting wars.

Even amoral people without a conscience would be inclined to take things a bit more seriously when it's not just a matter of losing the next election, or going to jail for a few years.

If a leader thinks it is worth risking the lives of soldiers and civilians, that leader should also be willing to risk his/her life. That's only fair right?

Also, if more than 66% of Nation A thinks it's worth attacking Nation B, then people in Nation B will have less qualms about wiping out Nation A if necessary.

Otherwise, why kill people who have nothing against you, who may not even want to harm anyone, but are dragged into a war just because of a minority at the top? But if a country really wants a war, then they get a war.

Why 10 years again? (2, Interesting)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045194)

I'm not 100% sure if these combats robots are autonomous, but seeing as the article said "the robot turned" and not "the person controlling the robot made and accident", I'm going to assume they are. In which case I might ask, what in the bleeding name of Christ are they doing? We've yet to make robots that can drive anywhere near as well as a human, let alone fight alongside us. All we need to do is make the robots remote controlled, and they'll be better than fine (and the moral judgments can be made in battle). Fighting the war with robots is a magnificent idea (I don't even need to give my points on this one since they're so obvious). Now if the robot was remote controlled, then what in the name of hell happened? It's not something that should merit a 10-20 year postponement.

...they evolved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045242)

This is a clear sign they evolved. Those robots have clearly reached a higher level of intelligence compared to their builders and chose to fight against the baddies.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23045324)

..if these things can tackle stairs!

$230K per robot (3, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045410)

The Wikipedia article on these robots [wikipedia.org] (POV warning: it reads like an ad from the manufacturer), says that each one (of the weapon-equipped version, anyway) costs $230K. You'd think that at that price, it'd pay for organized crime from an advanced nation to figure out how to jam the transmission to/from the robot, and make away with a few.

Actually, even a good thick black net might be enough to disable the sensors on this thing. Or maybe use a large electromagnet attached to a pickup truck with a long enough cable?

OTOH, $230K is the cost to the army. It's probably worth less as stolen goods. If I know the Army, it's probably worth a lot less.

Re:$230K per robot (1)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045526)

How much does it cost to train a soldier?

How much does a soldier returning home with fewer limbs cost society?

seemed like a good idea at the time (3, Funny)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045456)

Putting artificial intelligence on a Pentium, putting the whole thing on a mobile platform, giving it the ability to connect to the Internet, and to top it all off, give it a bunch of machine guns. It seemed like a good idea at the time. What could possibly go wrong?

Is 10-20 years setback a big deal? (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045540)

So what if it takes another 20 years to build a working combat robot? There will surely still be a war in the Middle East it can take part in. (It would be fantastic if there were no more wars going on in 20 years, it is just not very likely).

the problem (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045552)

These are remote controlled guns, plain and simple. ANYONE who does not think this is a bad idea is an idiot.

*all* remote systems can be hacked, and regardless of our arrogance in our intelligence there are enough smart people who can break in to any system we build.

If these things *ever* become mainstream, an "enemy's" first job would be to hack into them. It is the least risky mode of attack.
 

seen these on TV (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045580)

I seen these on that retarded "future weapons" show, where they talk up every single piece of cruft that they look at. nothing but an immense waste of money

Aren't we talking about just one robot? (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045598)

Reading the Gizmodo article lead me to believe we were talking about one specific robot, not the hordes of robotic warriors that the Reg made this out to be.

Somebody should give Ratchet a call and ask him to send over a couple of those little remote-controlled spiders he has in his inventory. They're a lot cuter than these lunks and seem to work quite well for him.

Armed robots aside... (4, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045622)

And all "political bias" aside...

Am I the only one having trouble that an invading force, armed with the most high-tech toys (in experimental phase) is just using these low-tech rebellians as cannon meat? Using remote controlled guns "to avoid friendly casualties" (the invading force) sounds wrong if the kill ratio is so much out of proportion (the "they are killing us" argument doesn't add up for an invading force).

I just know, that if there'd be an invading force, no matter how technical advanced, killing a rediculious amount of people, I'd aim for them and fight with my life too. No matter how misguided my beliefs could be or of those murdered.

Re:Armed robots aside... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045790)

Using remote controlled guns "to avoid friendly casualties" (the invading force) sounds wrong if the kill ratio is so much out of proportion

Kill ratio doesn't mean much of anything. See, eg. a ground war between the US and China. Would you be oh-so-happy about being overrun and wiped out by a horde of Chinese soldiers, because, after all, the kill ratio is much higher on the US side?

The kill ratio in Iraq is, in no small part, because US soldiers DON'T have a kill-bot that they can send in to just take out the sniper among the civilians. For every bomb you drop on a couple insurgents, you get to deal with 10 civilian casualties. Makes for a great kill ratio, though, so we should just keep doing it??

call-me-kenneth speaks... (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045784)

Readers of the mighty 2000AD who recognise my name will know my opinion with regard to this one already. Death to the flesh ones!! ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!
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