Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Robots & Terminators

I've been doing a really cool lesson recently about robots. They had this passage in our textbook at Daebang middle school they wanted me to use. They had these silly robots that look like pet dogs and this text tells how they "can read newspapers to old people." So I spiced it up a bit with a whole bunch of military UAVs and cool pics from the latest Terminator movie, in a desperate bid to hold the attention of 14 year old boys.

I think they had a fun time, with the kids later drawing robots and writing up sentences about what their robot "can" and "can't" do (I'll let you guess what the target sentence was that day). But while the kids seemed have fun, all it did for me was make me want to see the new Terminator flick that much more, (hopefully this weekend).

Anyways, I found this interesting article from a guy in Slate Magazine speculating on whether evil robots could ever take over the world. Some interesting facts gleaned from it as well: Apparently there are already 12 thousand unmanned ground vehicles already in Iraq and Afghanistan (a scary thought) and over 7000 UAV's. I'm surprised that the article didn't touch more on the Aegis combat system and the integrated and increasingly automated digital networks that already are, and will increasingly be managing targeting and fire control for all the services (and eventually the UAVs and robots).

The author also claims its only a matter of time before military robots are fielded that will make autonomous decisions about engagement.

Gaming the Robot Revolution, by P. W. Singer

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