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neubejiita
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The Pentagon is considering replacing thousands of troops with robots, a military commander said recently, marking the first time a DOD official has publicly acknowledged that humans would be replaced with robots on the battlefield.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robot...-111500084.html

The war against the machines begins.

Old Post 01-27-14 00:30 #
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Technician
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The military is the only real job left that you can get that offers genuine stability to the underclass. If you're healthy and a high school graduate, you can get higher education and have a career as long as your health will allow. My dad spent twenty five years in and he's treated very well pension and compensation wise.

Just another job lost, I supposed. I hope they don't replace Wal-Mart workers.

I can see drones taking over a good chunk of the air-force in the feat future.

Old Post 01-27-14 00:47 #
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Doominator2
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The next war weapon will probably be Pulse weapons to disactivate the robots :P

Old Post 01-27-14 01:22 #
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Krispy
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Not gonna happen. Didn't read the article. People don't want to get shot by a robot.

Old Post 01-27-14 06:25 #
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Maes
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I foresee great developments and massive increase in the deployment of anti-materiel rounds (explosive, piercing etc. and even new EMP rounds), and interesting new war convention problems arising, especially if robots get mixed with infantry and follow it/replace it.


E.g. will robots be considered just materiel, like any other vehicle, even if they are capable of autonomous thinking?

Unlike a conventional vehicle or a drone, which is still operated by humans to some degree, a fully autonomous robot will raise some serious questions as to how much e.g. its programming abides by the Laws of War (Who will do the auditing? Who will guarantee that all nations using robots will use "conventional" rulesets? Will there be a common software framework for war droids?) and how it can handle certain situations like e.g. wounded enemy soldiers, not shooting on units bearing Red Cross symbols, recognizing surrendering units....and how it can avoid being fooled or distracted by enemies abusing those convention loopholes, if present. So, rather than fully autonomous, I foresee that military robots will primarily be remote-controlled and weaponized "walkers" or other relatively small vehicles for some time to come, tied to a human operator, just like K9 units.

A fully autonomous robot in the battefield would also pose some questions such as or whether it could be considered a lawful combatant (try sending a person to war without giving them a formal rank/position in the military, and see what happens to them should they ever get captured by the enemy). Who is it answerable to, in case of war crimes or abuses? Its unit's commander? Its programmers? Its manufacturer? Maybe they will be considered the same as K9 units (Police/Military dogs actually have a formal rank and function, and are considered Police Officers/Military Personnel to all effects and purposes), which are always paired to a human handler.

The very least, this is going to cause problems for mixed deployment of robotic/human troops, and interesting war convention problems. E.g. a force that lacks robots, will be allowed to equip regular troops primarily with anti-materiel rounds that are more effective at disabling robots but are banned against regular troops (e.g. explosive, piercing, etc.), if battling a force that has stated that it will/been proven that it does deploy robots as a primary infantry unit, rather than humans? Will the mainly robotized force have to use only conventional ammunition against human enemies?

Old Post 01-27-14 08:23 #
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MajorRawne
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Does anyone else think robots are decades away from being able to replace human soldiers? Does anyone else see the possibility of disaster by developing machines that could out-fight humans? These people should watch the Terminator quadrilogy, especially the end of T3 and all of T: Salvation. Hard to imagine people are actually trying to advance machines to that point.

Old Post 01-27-14 09:24 #
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Maes
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MajorRawne said:
Does anyone else see the possibility of disaster by developing machines that could out-fight humans?


Making a machine that can "outfight" a human in restricted scenarios is not difficult. A simple example would be a landmine or a booby-trapped door with a sawed-off waiting for you to open it: in both cases the machine will "win" (admittedly though, it's the human that out-dumbed the machine, rather than the machine outsmarting the man).

Similarly, what are homing missiles and automated AA guns/batteries if not machines that can outfight a human in the specific scenario of, well, avoiding getting shot down? Similarly, it's not difficult to make an automated gun turret that can snipe (indiscriminately) every living/moving thing within the useful range allowed by its barrel and ammo. What is difficult is making a machine smart enough to do something more than just attacking blindly (though efficiently), e.g. one that can actually counter a military tactic like getting surrounded or sabotaged, decide whether it's better to flee or even self-destruct to avoid capture, or that can fight within the laws of war (e.g. recognizing surrendering enemies, allowing enemy medics to perform their duty etc.).

The only real possibility for disaster would be to have machines that:


  • Can move and feed by themselves (so they need no human intervention or maintenance whatsoever
  • Can decide on their own whether to attack
  • Are aware of military tactics, and are not as easily disabled as an industrial appliance/have no such failsafe, even by their own operators.


A "fighting machine" like a drone that still needs control by a human is nothing more than a fancified remotely-controlled vehicle with which to do war by proxy and in an even more detached manner, but by no means close to a "terminator"

Old Post 01-27-14 11:18 #
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Waffenak
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Nothing groundbreaking is gonna happen. Some clumsy tracked or wheeled vehicles will enter battlefield but we are not going to see bipedal mechs or androids carrying pulse rifles or rocket launchers any time soon. My estimate is maybe in 2070 or something earliest

Old Post 01-27-14 12:16 #
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Maes
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Waffenak said:
bipedal mechs or androids


Sooner or later they'll realize that the way to go is powered armor.

Why spending all those millions in AI research of dubious efficacy that can barely stand on two feet, when you already have decent actuators, motors and metallurgy, not to mention scores of militarily-trained grunts? Just make a robotic/powered armor, put a grunt in it, and he will be able to beat ANY android that might be manufactured in 2070.

The only pressing problem is the power source, as no known battery technology would be sufficient for even a day of continuous battlefield operations. If you don't mind ugly, the solution could be a portable diesel generator or APU turbine built-in the powered suit itself. The military doesn't mind guzzling gas or looking ugly, as long as it does its job. This is no environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient slim-case iPhone we're talking about.

Old Post 01-27-14 13:12 #
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Da Werecat
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Maes said:
AI research of dubious efficacy

Hell yeah!

Old Post 01-27-14 13:22 #
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Kontra Kommando
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Doominator2 said:
The next war weapon will probably be Pulse weapons to disactivate the robots :P


Or a hacker, that will turn the robots on the operators.

One positive trend is that innovation on the battlefield usually lead to innovations in domestic life. Since the military is investing so much into robots; its probably leading at the forefront in that field of research.

Here are some innovations we got from WWII, including the very machine we are all using to communicate on this board:

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war...vered-wwii.html

Last edited by Kontra Kommando on 01-27-14 at 15:38

Old Post 01-27-14 15:30 #
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Maes
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Well, after all War is called "history accelerated" or somesuch.

Old Post 01-27-14 15:42 #
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Avoozl
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People will certainly "rage against the machine" some day.

Old Post 01-27-14 16:36 #
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Gez
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Krispy said:
Not gonna happen. Didn't read the article. People don't want to get shot by a robot.

Already happened. Have you heard about combat drones?

Also, people generally don't want to get shot, period. Be it by a robot, a human, or a curious monkey which grabbed a firearm does not matter.


Maes said:
Who is it answerable to, in case of war crimes or abuses?


We are talking about the US Army here. It has been established that the USA's stance on war crimes committed by their military personnel is that it does not exist, it does not happen, and any claim to the contrary is terrorist propaganda. US military personnel is, by definition, always innocent of any wrongdoing, so there.


MajorRawne said:
Does anyone else think robots are decades away from being able to replace human soldiers? Does anyone else see the possibility of disaster by developing machines that could out-fight humans?

The point is that if there's a revolt or revolution that threatens the rule of the current elite, an army of human soldier may refuse to open fire on the protesters; while an army of robot soldiers will not.

A robot army is therefore the perfect ally of the 1%. Soon, the Great Purge will commence.

Last edited by Gez on 01-27-14 at 17:36

Old Post 01-27-14 17:16 #
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printz
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Similarly, humans will feel absolutely no remorse on obliterating enemy robots. No psychological block needed to pass to trash some robots. This is hugely featured on Star Wars 1-3 and Samurai Jack.

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Old Post 01-27-14 17:45 #
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printz said:
Similarly, humans will feel absolutely no remorse on obliterating enemy robots. No psychological block needed to pass to trash some robots. This is hugely featured on Star Wars 1-3 and Samurai Jack.
Maybe that's why the stakes were so low in the PT. Who gives a fuck about robots and clones fighting. Lame.

Old Post 01-27-14 17:52 #
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Gez
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Technician said:
Maybe that's why the stakes were so low in the PT. Who gives a fuck about robots and clones fighting. Lame.


I appreciate how it establishes that "it's okay, you can kill these people without remorse because they're clones -- their genetic code is identical to that of another human being, so they aren't real persons". I'm sure every twin in the audience enjoyed the implications!

Old Post 01-27-14 18:21 #
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Gez said:
I appreciate how it establishes that "it's okay, you can kill these people without remorse because they're clones -- their genetic code is identical to that of another human being, so they aren't real persons". I'm sure every twin in the audience enjoyed the implications!
A smarter franchise would have brought up that conundrum, the PT didn't. For every tiny instance that theme was alluded to, it was soon replaced by Aniakan crying and yelling.

Anyway, this is not the time and place to talk about Star Wars.

Old Post 01-27-14 18:34 #
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printz
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Technician said:
Maybe that's why the stakes were so low in the PT. Who gives a fuck about robots and clones fighting. Lame.
Wrong. I precisely only meant the droids, not the clones. In any case, the clones were on Republic's side, and we always see the battle droids being savagely destroyed by the main characters. The clones suffer casualties like any other war victims.

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Old Post 01-27-14 18:43 #
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myk
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Technician said:
I hope they don't replace Wal-Mart workers.
They already do it where they can, thus now they use some computerized checkouts with product code scanners.

Old Post 01-27-14 19:34 #
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Maes
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Gez said:
We are talking about the US Army here.


Fair enough. What will the US Army's stance on crimes commited by the robots of other armies?

In general, so far no serious army has ever eschewed chain-of-command and clear-cut responsability attribution, at least within its own ranks. It remains to be seen if robots will be considered as any other materiel and in the end it will always be a human operator that "pulls the trigger" (and it's simply inconceivable that the operator can be a civilian), or if they will be considered capable of decisions and thus responsible of their own actions, which would be much more terrifying. Even more interesting would be the reaction of enemy forces to robotic troops, especially if they were made to resemble humanoids from a distance.

Think about the Google Car's legal responsability problems, and multiply it by a hundred. I just wouldn't like to be made a POW if I was a drone or robot operator or handler. Just remember what happened to downed pilots in WW I, even if they survived, or to flamethrower-armed troops, especially flamethrowing tank crews, if they were ever captured alive.

Old Post 01-27-14 20:09 #
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Gez
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Maes said:
What will the US Army's stance on crimes commited by the robots of other armies?

Supposing they don't run on Microogle iBackdoors OS software and aren't remote-controlled from Washington anyway...

Old Post 01-27-14 20:30 #
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Waffenak
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Power armor ala fallout: I want to see that happen irl if they first solve the power source problem. Another scenario is they just bomb everything to smitheens from far away. It just feels airforce is getting more important everyday and regular foot grunt is just minor player on future battlefield

Old Post 01-27-14 21:33 #
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Gez
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Air force is great if you want to devastate a nation. If you want to control it, however, you need foot grunts. It's impossible to control people from boats and airplanes, you need to be there among them.

Modern warfare recently has been one of control -- Afghanistan, Irak, Lybia, Mali, etc., it's always the same. Try to neutralize militias and paramilitary forces (not actual military forces) without killing too many civilians. Also, try to get the civilians not to resent you too much, you're trying to be perceived as an ally rather than an enemy.

These objectives are absolutely impossible to achieve with "remote" weapons. Be it missiles, bombers, heavy artillery, drones, robots, or biomutant cyberbears does not change anything. All these things will kill indiscriminately, make a lot more victims among innocent civilians than among the official targets, and make the attacking army seem cowardly, inhuman, and evil.

The advantage is purely domestic: less soldiers on the front means less soldier casualties to explain to your electorate. So focusing on a robot war force means that the US Army is not interested in actually winning any war. It's purely interested in making sure the POTUS sees them as an asset for getting a second mandate.

Old Post 01-27-14 22:46 #
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Maes
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Gez said:
The advantage is purely domestic: less soldiers on the front means less soldier casualties to explain to your electorate.


This I never quite gott: there's no more Vietnam-like conscription in the USA AFAIK, and being in the Army is pretty much a voluntary -and quite prestigious, in the middle of a crisis- job.

It's not like any Little Johny is forcibly drafted, taken away from his mommy and little room, made to pick up his rifle and sent to Iraq of Afghanistan to kill terrorists. How can the electorate care about what an army of professionals do? Do they worry in the same way about e.g. the Police or the Fire Brigade?

Even countries that still do have conscription (at least NATO ones) avoid using conscripts in foreign conflicts/NATO peacekeeping missions or even NATO exercises abroad, exactly for the reasons you mentioned. But professionals/career officers/enlisted NCOs are all fair game.

Last edited by Maes on 01-27-14 at 23:07

Old Post 01-27-14 23:02 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Terminators or Megamans?

Old Post 01-27-14 23:49 #
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Wagi
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MajorRawne said:
These people should watch the Terminator quadrilogy, especially the end of T3 and all of T: Salvation. Hard to imagine people are actually trying to advance machines to that point.
This is totally a bad idea, guys! Didn't you all see that one movie?

Old Post 01-28-14 01:53 #
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Clonehunter
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Next Up: Eldon Tyrell unveils the latest in robot technology - The Nexus-6 Replicant! For all your offworld needs!

Old Post 01-28-14 01:57 #
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neubejiita
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I am sure that this rifle could take care of an ED 209 or a T-800 very easily.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denel_NTW-20

A 20mm anti-material rifle that can fire high-explosive fragmenting rounds. That would be very effective indeed. And a 3 mile range... So I would not worry too much about a robot advancing on your position.

Old Post 01-28-14 04:00 #
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Magnetick
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This obviously won't happen any time soon, but the idea of machines fighting all the battles sounds like a great concept. I mean, come on, turn bloody warfare into robot warfare. Hell, turn it into a sport and put it on TV like it's Sunday Night Football.

"The West Division team is sending it's robotroops over to Israel for a territory bout. Time for some Friday. Night. Invasion!"

Old Post 01-28-14 04:13 #
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