Published February 09, 2009
Robots will fight the wars of the future, a prominent military expert told an audience of luminaries Wednesday.
"We are at a point of revolution in war, like the invention of the atomic bomb," writer and Brookings Institution fellow Peter W. Singer said during his address at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference meeting this week in Long Beach, Calif., according to Agence France-Presse.
Drawing on material from his just-published book "Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century," Singer said the rapid development of military robots, already used as drones and bomb defusers, might mean that U.S. combat units would be half human, half machine by 2015.
Unfortunately, he added, we wouldn't have much of a head start.
"In technology there is no such thing as a permanent advantage," Singer, recently a defense-policy adviser to the Obama presidential campaign, told the audience. "You have Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran working on military robots."
He also fears that machine will be more ruthless killers than soft-hearted humans.
"You don't have to convince robots they are going to get 72 virgins when they die to get them to blow themselves up," said Singer.