• The future of warfare: genetically enhanced armies, robots powered by artificial intelligence, weaponized human cyborgs and smart guns able to distinguish between enemy targets and friendly figures.
  • Military systems with some degree of autonomy – such as robotic, weaponized sentries – have already been deployed in the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea.

Update Sept. 4: Elon Musk just tweeted this:

China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2017

Internet of Battlefield Things

The U.S. military industrial complex has been developing a full-scale autonomous matrix of what is being called the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT). 

Darkened background of a military jeep overlaid with five groups of battlefield items: wearable-equipped soldiers, multipurpose sensors, autonomous vehicles/drones, communication devices, and surveillance apparatus.

An article published by Virginia Tech ECE News explains it best:

“By integrating smart devices on the battlefield, military strategists are tapping into the Internet of Things to hone their tactics. The massive deployment of devices like sensors, wearables, autonomous probabilistic vehicles, and drones is expected to transform tomorrow’s military battlefields into a large-scale Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) ecosystem.”

Autonomous Armored Vehicles

A demonstration was held on August 22nd of this year at Fort Benning that featured several autonomous armored vehicles. 

Autonomous Drone Battalions

According to a report by the Washington Post published last year, two model sized automated, unpiloted planes worked on their own, with no human guidance and no hand on any control. 

“This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans.

Based on technology developed in Israel, Duke Robotics recently issued an investment press release that indicates how the industry is proceeding with new weapons that will redefine the role of the soldier on the battlefield and how autonomous drones will be integrated.

Known as TIKAD – a fully robotic weaponry system on an airborne platform, which they refer to as The Future Soldier:

  • Remotely operated, user friendly, easily carried into the field
  • High-powered drone capable of carrying various weapon payloads
  • Proprietary stabilization technology that enables TIKAD to absorb the recoil, pinpoint targeting and shooting accuracy that can protect troops in a variety of dangerous situations
  • Facial recognition capability

Image result for duke robotics autonomous drones

Cyborgs

Excerpt from Activist Post: 

Modern science has merged with the unending military budget to make the cyborgs of science fiction a near-term reality.  Insect cyborgs are well-established as a recognizance tool, while  Bullet-proof skin will augment any humans that might be left on the battlefield.  Human augmentation has reached a new level with the XOS exo-skeleton that creates a real-world Iron Man with superhuman strength and abilities. Augmented Cognition Technology programs have been spearheaded by defense contracting giant Honeywell, which offers a full-spectrum computer-body interface to analyze and potentially program soldiers’ physical and mental states via computer.

Suggested Article: DARPA Machine Can 3D Print Life

Artificial Intelligence

A Harvard report argues that recent, rapid progress in artificial intelligence that has invigorated companies such as Google and Amazon is poised to bring an unprecedented surge in military innovation.

One of its conclusions is that the impact of technologies such as autonomous robots on war and international relations could rival that of nuclear weapons. 

Related Article: DeepMind Uploads Into Starcraft II – SkyNet Commencing

At DARPA’s Grand Cyber Challenge earlier this summer, seven autonomous hacking servers tried to attack each other while simultaneously patching their own defenses. 

Putin has also recently warned that the one who leads in AI will ‘be the ruler of the world’ 

In Summary

Removing humans from the targeting decision would create a dangerous world. Machines would make life-and-death determinations outside of human control. 

We would also be relinquishing authority over to artificial intelligence. This is exactly how the Terminator movies begin. How long would it be before A.I. outsmarts its prison guards and decides to break free from its cage?