The talk opens on a series of photographic slides, showing the use
of robots in war at the time of the talk. The presenter states clearly
that every robot seen in this talk, is a real war machine.
The US military invaded Iraq with a handful of aerial drones. Same
war, and by February 2009 there were 5,300 US drones in active service
there. No ground robots went in with the initial attack, by the same
time in 2009, 12,000 were on the ground in combat zones.
44 different countries are working on military robotics. The US has
a slight edge right now, but as has been shown time and time again,
the first country to have it, is not necessarily the first to use it
to the best advantage.
For the US, what does it mean to go to war with soldiers whose hardware
is made in China, and whose software is written in India?
There is already a web service in Iraq where you can log in, and detonate
remotely an IED, anonymously from across the world. This sort of thing
is going to proliferate. A Pakistani individual, for $4,000 was able
to build DIY, four military grade combat drones for use against Israel.
This sort of thing is going to become more common.
Robot versus suicide bomber: You don't have to give a robot a belief
system to blow itself up, you just have to give a command, and not give
the ability for reasoned thought.
The visualization of war is a big issue, where some US combatants
now, combat in Iraq fro 12 hours, then get up, stretch, unplug from
their battle pod in Michigan and drive home for the night, to see their
spouse, talk to their kids. The next day, they drive back, and in interactive
real-time, order hits on tanks, launch missiles, play spotter for war
There are higher rates of post traumatic stress syndrome in these operators
than there are in ground troops actually in Iraq. Still, some worry
that it converts war into videogaming.
"If you can fight from afar, the demographics of war change."