Who Will Command The Robot Armies?

When John Allsopp invited me here, I told him how excited I was discuss a topic that's been heavy on my mind: accountability in automated systems.
But then John explained that in order for the economics to work, and for it to make sense to fly me to Australia, there needed to actually be an audience.
So today I present to you my exciting new talk:
Who Will Command the Robot Armies?

The Military

Let's start with the most obvious answer—the military.
This is the Predator, the forerunner of today's aerial drones. Those things under its wing are Hellfire missiles.
These two weapons are the chocolate and peanut butter of robot warfare. In 2001, CIA agents got tired of looking at Osama Bin Laden through the camera of a surveillance drone, and figured out they could strap some missiles to the thing. And now we can't build these things fast enough.
We're now several generations in to this technology, and soldiers now have smaller, portable UAVs they can throw like a paper airplane. You launch them in the field, and they buzz around and give you a safe way to do reconaissance.
There are also portable UAVs with explosives in their nose, so you can fire them out of a tube and then direct them against a target—a group of soldiers, an orphanage, or a bunker–and make them perform a kamikaze attack.


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