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Let’s face it: You can get an “expert” to tell you anything. A bottle of wine a day is good for your heart. Mayonnaise makes good facial masks. The Earth is only six thousand years old. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. And yet, the more outrageous the claim, the more it starts to kind of make sense.
Take Professor Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield, who claims that a Terminator style robot apocalypse “could be a reality within ten years.” He may actually have a point. The military is becoming markedly more interested in robots: There are over 4,000 of them on the ground in Iraq, and unmanned planes have flown over 400,000 hours. US policy makers now want robots that can undertake even more sophisticated combat missions, including being able to identify enemy combatants and make autonomous decisions about killing. “We are rapidly moving towards robots that can make the decision to apply lethal force, when to apply it and who to apply it to,” says Sharkey.
If that sounds like Skynet’s just a blink away, it gets worse: Sharkey claims that Al Qaeda may, at this very moment, be building a T-800 in some deep Afghani cave. “With the current prices of robot construction falling dramatically and the availability of ready-made components for the amateur market, it wouldn’t require a lot of skill to make autonomous robot weapons,” Sharkey warns.
I think we all agree that terrorists getting their hands on Terminator technology is troubling. Still, better that than Voltron tech.Read More