A CBS News video reports that the US military "tests an autonomous F-16 fighter jet, and in a simulated dogfight, artificial intelligence defeats trained pilots."
And this is just one of many automated systems being developed, raising many questions about how far this technology should go:
"The people we've met developing these systems say they're not trying to replace people, they're just making their jobs safer." But a shift to robot soldiers could revolutionize warfare, as we found out on a visit to Sikorsky Aircraft, the military contractor that makes the Blackhawk helicopter…
"Flying the experimental Blackhawk is as easy as moving around the map." The experimental helicopter is literally controlled with clicks on a tablet, says a Sikorsky spokesman. “You make suggestions and the machine actually decides how to do it.”
The Sikorsky spokesman says it could avoid a "Blackhawk down" scenario where more and more soldiers are sent into harm's way to try to save their comrades.
But CBS also reports that this is all "part of a larger effort to change the way wars are fought, led by DARPA, an innovative laboratory of Ministryof Defense".
"They have developed autonomous trucks, unmanned underwater vehicles and swarms of drones."
The CBS reporter then asked DARPA program manager Stuart Young if we're headed for a future that features Terminator-like fighting machines.
"There are always these dilemmas, but clearly our opponents are thinking about getting the upper hand. Part of what DARPA is doing is trying to prevent technological surprise.”
CBS also spoke with former Army Ranger Paul Scharre, who worked at the Department of Defense in the autonomous weapons division.
Αυτός είπε ότι οι ήδη διαθέσιμες εμπορικές τεχνολογίες θα μπορούσαν ήδη να δημιουργήσουν αυτόνομα όπλα. “Το μόνο που χρειάζεται είναι μερικές γραμμές code. "
Scharre does not see the whole venture negatively. He points out that in a battle between two nations, robot soldiers would legally have to follow the law of war and may do so better than emotional or jaded humans... But Scharre worries about the marriage of advanced robots and military artificial intelligence that could to become smarter and faster than us".
E: So at that point people would just be out of decision making. You just have to trust the machines and program them well.
E: Do you think armies should be committed to keeping people informed?
A: I don't think that can be done. If you could wave a magic wand and say, “We're going to stop the development of technology,” there would probably be benefits to that. But I don't think that can be done today…