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February 28, 2008

Smart people can be real retards

There's this story here about the rise of autonomous military robots.

What struck me about this piece is a quote from University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey

...detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.

The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern
, said Sharkey.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines [PA: the obligatory SkyNet reference]...

Putting on my thinking cap, I can think of several reasons why terrorists aren't using "suicide bomber" robots.

  1. Morons are cheaper than robots
  2. You need skilled labor to build robots. AK-47 firing skills aren't all that portable
  3. You need a LOT of money, a lab, specialized materials, and lots of computer geeks to build a viable robots. Some Junkyard Wars contraption rattling down the streets of Baghdad or Paris strapped with a bomb vest tends to draw attention.
  4. Robots need to be transported. COP: "Nice bomb-bot you got in the back seat sir. Taking that shiny new beauty out for its first trial eh?"
I'm sure the rest of you morons can think of lots more reasons why Prof Sharkey is so perplexed terrorist bomb-bots haven't appeared in waves like Terminators.


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posted by Purp at 10:02 AM

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