Friday, June 06, 2014
US military wants to build Skynet. Again!
Back in the eighties, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spent more than a billion dollars in an attempt to create what was, in effect, Skynet. You know, the self-aware artificial intelligence system that goes bad in The Terminator movie. DARPA called it the Strategic Computing Initiative, but it was Skynet alright. You only have to read this little bit of political persuasion in favour of the idea back then to get that: "...there will be unique new opportunities for military applications of computing. Instead of fielding simple guided missiles or remotely piloted vehicles, we might launch completely autonomous land, sea, and air vehicles capable of complex, far-ranging reconnaissance and attack missions." You may well think that the project succeeded, given that we now see the use of unmanned drones in combat, but you would be wrong. Unmanned and completely autonomous are not the same thing. The project failed so you can relax, right? Wrong. DARPA is trying again.