Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap Jr. offers a good roundup of his thinking and that of some others on autonomous weapons. As I read him, he thinks that they won’t be as disruptive as some people think.
I dunno. It seems to me that a merger of learning machines with weapons could be huge. I think it will be as big as the transition to the Industrial Age, which in military terms meant the age of mass movement and mass killings. I keep on thinking about room-clearing flying Roombas cleaning out a big apartment house in 10 minutes.
I also think the argument about keeping the “human in the loop” is really over. If you have humans making key decisions, the semi-autonomous weapon inevitably will be slower than its opponent, and it will be destroyed. So the best we can hope for is “human overwatch.” And that might be hard to maintain, as the machines move and learn faster than humans can think.
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.