Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.
Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes’ systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.
While it’s easy to sit in a room somewhere and discuss the merits of building autonomous vehicles to do the “dirty work,” I’m very disturbed by the trend. In fact, it quite sickens me.
I feel that we are at a time when we should be seriously seeking to understand the humanity of each other. Other peoples, other cultures, other ways of being. Looking at the news, it may seem that often, the only thing that we have in common with a person on the other side of the planet is that we are both human.
But, I feel it’s important to remember that this commonality is the only thing that is important. The most important thing we have is our humanity, and humanity means that with makes us human.
Sitting in an office, safely controlling a machine that will extinguish the lives of human beings is not going to connect us to another human. It is not going to give us the chance to learn about that person’s worldview, nor is it going to give us the chance to describe ours. There is no conversation. There is only death.
And this is death at no cost to ourselves.
How disconnected do we want to be? Will we accept war without a price?
Positively Glorious: Our soldiers should die in war
See also: Military Robots and the Laws of War (adapted from PW Singer’s Wired for War)
My position is simpler: we shouldn’t fight wars.
Robots could be replacing human soldiers on the battlefields in the near future:
Keating said that, so far, it’s impossible to make robots completely independent of humans on the battlefield.
But the day is coming when American soldiers will fight alongside robotic comrades ? even if those robots aren’t carrying weapons, Thorpe said.
Fox News: Military Robots Prepare to March Into Battle
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