This new robot aircraft nearly ready for deployment in the UK looks like a Terminator hunter killer and a Cylon heavy raider had a baby.  Semi-autonomous, this drone-AI hybrid warplane will be the closest thing to our future robot overlords we’ve created to date.

cylon raiderI’m sure all the world’s militaries currently developing drones would say that they’ll never deploy a completely autonomous AI weapon, that they will always maintain a measure of authority over the thing, but that’s exactly what they thought when Skynet went online!  I just don’t see the search for the ultimate killing machine ever being over until it turns on us and whoever is left says “oh, there it is”.
With science fiction doing a pretty good job of predicting many of the technologies we’ve achieved up to now, at what point do some of the predicted negatives come about?  The super bug hasn’t hit yet.  Full on nuclear war is probably not going to happen.  Aliens haven’t shown up yet to steal our water.  We do, on the other hand, have increasingly complex and autonomous weapons of war being developed every day.
hunter killerIn a recent interview for GEEK magazine, Dr. Massimiliano Versace says we’re a long way off from having to worry about any of our robots turning on us, and his arguments for the delay are pretty sound, one being that advanced an AI race of robots wouldn’t be competing for the same resources as us.  But then again, who knows.  Would we be able to share all the precious metals and other materials they need to produce themselves while we use them for our own purposes?  I’m not so sure.   While his argument does make sense it doesn’t take into account the propensity for human beings to push everything we do to the furthest extreme.  We may be a long way off from worrying about our Roomba’s trying to kill us in our sleep but I have no doubt that sometime in the not too distant future someone is going to program a robot with a bit too much self awareness.