Terminator is a beloved science fiction film franchise, but could it foreshadow events in the real world?

‘Terminator Conundrum’: Machines Programmed To Kill

The United States is developing an A.I. that is capable of recognizing people as potential targets, The New York Times reports. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has made great strides with their new weapon. The drone’s sensors were capable of detecting AK-47 replicas being carried by six men in a makeshift Middle Eastern village. The drone by itself is nothing remarkable, but its programming is.

In addition to acknowledging threatening weaponry, the drones are equipped with facial recognition features allowing them to detect criminals. Shockingly, the machine was even capable of recognizing a photographer, armed with nothing but his camera, as being benign.

These drones have been in development for around a year, although there are still imperfections.


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A significant difference between this SKU of drone and those that are currently utilized by the military is that these new models don’t require someone commanding them. They’d supply the efficiency required while also reducing the men on the field. And, by extension, these drones would lessen the number of tragedies as there would be less soldiers in the action.

The Pentagon refers to this initiative as “centaur warfighting.” Much like how a centaur is composed of two distinct creatures, this plan would blend manpower and mechanical prowess together into a brand new beast.

According to the deputy defense secretary, Robert O. Work, an apt comparison with this initiative would be Marvel’s Iron Man, who’s strengthened by the armors he builds and controls. Similarly, computers are faster than humans but lack the adaptability humanity brings in unforeseen situations.

Work referred to China and Russia, other nations that are developing comparable battle networks. Israel and Britain, allies to the United States, are building their own equivalents, too.

General Paul J. Selva of the Air Force, who’s also the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insists the United States could develop a groundbreaking robot in a decade that could think independently and, if it elected to do so, kill.

The “Terminator conundrum” is the expression used to determine whether or not mankind should pursue this specific field of robotics. Scientists argue this breed of machinery, even if burdened with a weak A.I., could invoke “a global arms race.” The military’s concern stems from how much authority to give their utility knives, not from indecision over developing them.

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