Daniel Suarez Nightmare a Reality

I wrote back in June about Autonomous Robotic Weapons and the fear that SciFi writer Daniel Suarez had that these would one day be built and what could go wrong.

Looks like it’s real.

In the recruitment video above, the Air Force invites future cadets to work with them on creating a network of autonomous quadroters that can work without human intervention.

“The objective of this project is to code a system that allows this quadroter to think and act autonomously.”

This is precisely what Daniel Suarez warned about. By designing drones that operate autonomously, you start down the road towards a world where the decision to cause war & violence are pushed away from humans. Daniel lists three powerful factors that cause this shift,

  1. The deluge of video footage will overwhelm ability for humans to analyse so that, “drones will tell humans what to look at.”
  2. Electromagnetic jamming by the enemy means that drones will be required to act on their own and not be piloted by humans. Drones will know their objective and react to external circumstances on their own, ignoring incoming radio signals, friendly or not.
  3. Plausible deniability because drones are made from commodity materials that can be procured by anyone, even a criminal gang.

Suarez’s latest book, Kill Decision is about this very topic and this latest news shows that his nightmare scenario is a very real possibility.

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