Thursday, April 02, 2009

discussion of military robotics

The Inkwell discussion mentioned below is now underway.

See Inkwell.vue topic #352 on The WELL.


For two weeks, beginning April 29th, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow P.W. Singer will be on hand in The WELL's Inkwell.vue conference to discuss his latest book "Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century".

Obligatory caveat: while military robotics is a far cry from what this blog is about, some of the technologies developed for military robots are likely to prove useful in the more mundane context of managing productive land. But while cultibotics remains a dream of what might be, the development and deployment of military robotics is happening now, posing serious concerns for the near future as the machines become both more autonomous and more lethal. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are nowhere to be seen.

Caveat to the caveat: having now read most of the book, I realize there are other, far more realistic, reasons for concern than the extremely unlikely Skynet-gone-bats scenario. Singer is a subtle thinker, and I'm anticipating an interesting discussion.