Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How close to Skynet are we?

So maybe I have been a little close to the whole Terminator thing lately. I did reviews of all four Terminator movies in the last week, which has my mind focused on science fiction themes like Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) and I, Robot (2004), films where the machines take over from their human creators. You have to admit, it is a scary subject and one that makes you wonder why we would build such powerful machines.

So you can understand why I am more than just a little concerned when I read this article, "11 Incredible Weapons That Only America Has" in Business Insider. While most of these weapons still require human intervention, at least four of the eleven are hinted at as being autonomously operated. In other words, the machine is capable of being given a set of instructions and carrying them out without further communication. We now have Programmable Killing Machines.

There are some who say this is not possible, since machines have no ambition. And I grant you ambition is a human quality, not a machine imperative. But not everyone is convinced the danger is minimal.

In the article Robots: Possible Take Over of the World, both sides are given equal weight. Several links are provided at the bottom of the page to give readers some additional reference materials. And as always, I want to do the same. This article is simply a "thinking out loud" blog to give you a chance to respond to the idea, if you like. Me, I'm still waiting for the facts to trickle down, but in a world where we are within 5 years of self-driven cars and carry computers around in the form of smart phones, one thing is clear. We are dependent on our machines.

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