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US Military 50 Percent Robotic By 2015

February 5, 2009

The US military will be half machine and half human by 2015, a military expert told an audience on Wednesday.

Speaking before a group at the Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference, military expert Peter Singer said the implementation of robot soldiers was near.

“We are at a point of revolution in war, like the invention of the atomic bomb,” Singer said.

“What does it mean to go to war with US soldiers whose hardware is made in China and whose software is made in India?”

The US military has already made great strides in unmanning the battlefield. The US uses attack drones and bomb-handling robots, and custom war video games have been used as recruiting tools.

But the introduction of compassionless robots to the battlefield is strangely similar to terrorism, said Singer. 

“You don’t have to convince robots they are going to get 72 virgins when they die to get them to blow themselves up,” Singer said.

Singer also referred to so-called “war porn” ““ videos captured by robots on the battlefield that gets distributed on the Internet.

“It turns war into entertainment, sometimes set to music,” Singer said. “The ability to watch more but experience less.”

David Hanson creates robots with human features in hopes to achieve more “empathy.”

“The goal here is not just to achieve sentience, but empathy,” Hanson said.

“As machines are more capable of killing, implanting empathy could be the seeds of hope for our future.”

Image Caption: The MATTRACKS T4-3500 robot uses track technology that provides mobility and traction in mud, sand, snow, swamp and tundra conditions. US Army

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