Friday, 29 July 2011

Robots soldiers, programmed to attack

The enormous potential of modern computers, the latest generation of cameras and sensors allow for what until recently was dream of General: to wage war without risking its own soldiers.

Since 2001. The unmanned aircraft are used not only for reconnaissance but also for attacks on opponents. U.S. aircraft and increasingly used primarily in Pakistan since 2004. by 2007 there were only nine attacks, 2008. - 33, 53 next year, and last even 118th It is estimated that the attack killed between 600 and thousands of people.

Robert Altman, professor of physics at the University of Dortmund and one of the founders of the International Committee for the control of robotic arms says: "It would be inconceivable that the U.S. targets in Pakistan, operating such a large number of aircraft with crew. Since the small unmanned aircraft without pilots, Pakistanis find it easier to tolerate them. The tolerance for the use of such weapons is much higher. "

However, Noel Thornhill, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence in Sheffield has some reservations, saying: "Perhaps it is for soldiers with no risk. But for civilians on the other side is not without risk. Not even to our own, because the asymmetric war creates new terrorism. People will not simply give up because we have better technology, but will find ways to resist. "

More than 50 states have already bought an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, or only made ​​them - among them Germany, Israel, China, Russia and Iran. Savings is small - an American unmanned aircraft "Ripper" armed with 14 missiles will cost ten million euros, the price of F-22 fighter jet is 150 million.

As the robot uprogramirati ethical aspect?

Peter Warren Singer of the Brookings institjuĆĄn in Washington criticize the development of robotic arms. "On the one hand, the robot has no emotions and rage when his friend is killed. For him there is no crime out of revenge or anger. But the robot was eighty-grandmother in a wheelchair the same as a tank - sequence of ones and zeros. "

However, Ronald Arkin, a researcher believes that the lack of emotion precisely because of the robot and said that those who work on software "required to enable the robots to refuse immoral orders. You can program the ethical aspects of war and the Hague Conventions of Geneva. "

True, the computer scientist from Bremen Hans Joerg Kreovski not quite sure. "Nobody knows what it means uprogramirati ethical aspect. Ethics can not be defined on the basis of algorithms. "

The latest trend in military technology may sound like science fiction, but the implementation and effect in any case are not in this field.

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