Thursday, December 18, 2003

The Terminator Will Strike From Above

Over the past few days, Albert and I have been discussing the eventual destruction of mankind. It seems pretty clear that the rapid advance of technology will eventually lead to machines that are more intelligent and more powerful than man. We can hope that our creations will be more merciful, but I wouldn't bet my bottom dollar on it.

The Economist ran a special article on the future of flight--too bad it reads like the end of mankind. Here are some excerpts:

"According to a UAV road map from America's Department of Defence, by 2012 UAVs the size of F-16 fighter aircraft are likely to exist. These will be capable of many combat and support missions, including the suppression of enemy air defences and electronic attacks on enemy sensors."

"By 2015-2020, as onboard processing power begins to take off, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] are expected to start thinking for themselves. This could lead ultimately to completely autonomous UAVs and swarms of UAVs that talk to one another and operate as a single unit."

So, by 2020, we'll have swarms of flying combat robots the size of F-16s, heavily armed, operating in packs. Does any of this seem like a bad idea to you?

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