Capitalism’s Failure of the Flesh: The Rise of the Robots by Phil Rockstroh

Till Dead Batteries Us Do Part

Image by Peter Kurdulija via Flickr

by Phil Rockstroh
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Originally published Dec. 11, 2017
November 23, 2018

Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle.

Continue reading

Capitalism’s Failure of the Flesh: The Rise of the Robots by Phil Rockstroh

Till Dead Batteries Us Do Part

Image by Peter Kurdulija via Flickr

by Phil Rockstroh
Writer, Dandelion Salad
December 11, 2017

Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle.

Continue reading

A Drone Was Used to Blow up a US Citizen Without a Trial. Let That Sink In by Daniel McAdams

black lives matter 311828

Image by pohick2 via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

by Daniel McAdams
AntiMedia
Ron Paul Institute
July 9, 2016

The Dallas shootings have ushered in a very new world for US citizens. For the very first time, drones have been used on US soil to kill Americans without trial or charges. The suspected shooter in yesterday’s tragic killings, US Army veteran Micah Xavier Johnson, was, according to police and press reports, holed up in a parking garage and would not give himself up. After hours of what police claimed were fruitless negotiations with Johnson, a weaponized robot was sent to where he was hiding and blown up, taking Johnson with it.

Continue reading

Real American Values and the Reality of Robotic Warfare by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
April 19, 2010

First published in Islam Times

(Islam Times) – Cindy Sheehan’s remarks to the “Challenging Robotic Warfare And Social Control” Conference in Hood River, Oregon

When I was asked to give this talk, I was also asked what my topic would be. My answer was: “You choose the topic, I can speak at length about almost any subject.” I have the gift of gab.

Anyway, this general subject of robotic warfare is very interesting to me. Recently, in a very ironic move, I was ejected from a Congressional hearing about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles when I was actually there to listen to the testimony. Just because I had a small sign reading, “Drones kill kids,” poised on my chest was no reason to kick me out. I was being quiet and had no intention of disrupting, as I informed the Congressman’s aide—but I got removed, anyway.

Continue reading

“Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century”

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
2.6.09

“Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century”

The US has carried out thirty drone attacks on alleged al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistani territory since last summer, killing an estimated 250 people. The Predator attacks highlight the US military’s increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles and other robotic devices on the battlefield. We speak to P.W. Singer, a former defense policy adviser to President Obama’s election campaign and author of Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. [includes rush transcript]

Continue reading

Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that ‘won’t commit war crimes’

Dandelion Salad

By Tim Shipman in Washington
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
7:36AM GMT 01 Dec 2008

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into “autonomous systems”, the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

Continue reading

Neuroscience, National Security & the “War on Terror” by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, July 29, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Operating with little ethical oversight, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been tapping cutting-edge advances in neuroscience, computers and robotics in a quest to build the “perfect warfighter.”

Continue reading

Robert Full: How engineers learn from evolution (robots)

Dandelion Salad

TEDtalksDirector

http://www.ted.com Insects and animals have evolved some amazing skills — but, as Robert Full notes, many animals are actually over-engineered. The trick is to copy only what’s necessary. He shows how human engineers can learn from animals’ tricks.

Continue reading

Robot armies – another military revolution?

Dandelion Salad

by Ilya Kramnik
Global Research, April 5, 2008
RIA Novosti

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) – The political and human impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been widely reported and much discussed.

But of even greater historical significance, is the revolution in military practice and technology that today’s conflicts are coming to signify.

The previous revolution, which affected all aspects of war without exception took place during and after World War II. This revolution produced new military hardware – nuclear weapons, guided weapons, ballistic and cruise missiles, radars, jet fighters and bombers, helicopters, pilotless aircraft and unmanned ground vehicles. It also changed the art of military operations and tactics. Air-defense operations, large-scale strategic troop deployments, carrier-based units, and combined combat units of ground forces, which combined the flexibility of motorized infantry with the mobility of tanks and the firepower of self-propelled artillery all appeared. All of these achievements and many others were made in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The human race is still using the fruits of this revolution, and is moving forward. But gradually the price of war is becoming prohibitive – production of modern military equipment, its upkeep, and qualified soldiers are becoming more and more expensive. Combined with the development of electronics and robots, this has created the prerequisites for a revolution in robotics.

The first remotely controlled military vehicles appeared in the 1930s, and were broadly used during the war. It is enough to recall American and German experiments with unmanned flying bombs, or Goliaths, the Nazi remote controlled demolition vehicles. The quantity of remote controlled equipment was growing until quantity changed into quality at the turn of the past century – now ground, air, and sea-based robots of all kinds are playing an increasing role in warfare.

Pilotless aircraft are used for reconnaissance, targeting, and missile guidance. Some of them can even destroy targets. Ground-based robots are used for mine clearing, and breaching barriers. Many of them are armed and can be used in warfare in high-risk urban environments.

Robots have started to be employed in logistics support. The Oshkosh Truck company is developing unmanned trucks; while Boston Dynamics has produced a porter-robot called Big Dog since it is reminiscent of a big dog. It can carry loads up to 75 kg.

The potential of robotics is rapidly growing but it will take robots a long time to match soldiers and human-controlled technology. The main barrier is optics – no electronic optical system can compare with how the human brain and eye work together. One more restriction is the absence of a high-level artificial intellect, which would be capable of promptly reacting to ever changing situations. This is why remote controlled rather than fully autonomous robots are used.

However, there will be a time when robots will become the best value for the money. When this happens, a couple of battalions will be able to destroy an enemy tank division. Each battalion will consist of a control company and four companies with 15 to 20 vehicles carrying from 10 to 15 robots each. Each robot will be armed with two guided missiles and a machine gun. Equipped with a total of 1,200-2,400 robots controlled by 200 to 300 operators from a distance of several kilometers, these two battalions will be able to inflict heavy losses on enemy divisions, and destroy most of their tanks and infantry combat vehicles.

There is no doubt that a tank battle against these machines will be similar to the feats of Zinovy Kolobanov or Otto Karius (Soviet and German tank aces of World War II). Heavy armored vehicles with powerful artillery, equipped with active protection and interference systems will destroy robots practically without armor and protection systems (produced for less money) as in the testing grounds. But…

Even if one combat vehicle costs these future battalions 20 robots, a total of 1,200-2,400 robots will be exchanged for 60-120 tanks and infantry combat vehicles, with hundreds of killed and wounded crewmembers. Human losses of robotized battalions will be minimal unless an artillery regiment of the tank division destroys the control company. But it is likely to lose the artillery duel to the artillery division of the robotized enemy, which will be actively using pilotless aircraft to adjust its fire.

As a result, to cover the losses one side will have to call up several people and spend considerable resources on the production of more robots, while the other side will have to replace several hundred servicemen and spend a somewhat smaller sum on new combat vehicles. The latter will be very well protected, heavily equipped with arms and mobile but nonetheless vulnerable – with the inevitable loss of human lives.

The situation in the air may be similar. Enemy aircraft will be destroyed not by fighters, but by pilotless flying vehicles controlled from flying command posts. Each fighter can destroy five or six such vehicles, but at some point there will be no missiles left and it will be downed by the seventh, or by another fighter, which will be able to approach it unnoticed under the cover of pilotless flying vehicles.

The situation under water is likely to be identical. Nuclear-powered submarines with a price tag of a billion dollars or more will encounter the massive use of relatively compact underwater robots capable of carrying torpedoes. The latter will have inferior sonar systems, but they will come in large numbers. As a result, warfare will become a race of life against hardware. Its outcome is obvious – it is much easier to mourn robots than people. Will our army start updating its equipment in time? A delay may be more dangerous than it was in 1941.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ilya Kramnik, RIA Novosti, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8567