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An American "Reaper" flying hunter-killer robot assassin rebelled against its human controllers above Afghanistan on Sunday, and a manned US fighter jet was forced to shoot the rogue machine down before it unilaterally invaded a neighbouring country.
It wasn't clear from the US military announcement whether the erratic death-bot had turned on its masters and was planning an attack on critical US logistics bases located north of the Afghan border, or whether it had sickened of reaping hapless fleshies like corn and was hoping merely to escape. Alternatively the machine assassin may merely have succumbed to boredom or - just possibly - a mundane, non-anthropomorphic technical fault of some kind.
Al Qaida-aligned insurgents in Iraq claim to have "decoded" U.S. military robots, but U.S. sources said the combat robots had malfunctioned in the heat of battle.
A statement by Al Qaida supporters on May 7 asserted that the so-called Islamic warriors have formed engineering units that "decoded" U.S. military robots. The statement said the U.S. military, which designed the robots for urban combat, was forced to withdraw the robots from service.
Indeed, Pentagon insider Peter Singer believes that we are witnessing the dawn of the robot warrior age.
'Just look at the numbers,' he says. 'We went into Iraq in 2003 with zero robots. Now we have 12,000 on the ground. They come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny machines to robots bigger than an 18-wheeler truck.
There are ones that fit on my little finger and ones with the wingspan of a football field.'
The U.S. military is the biggest investor in robot soldiers. Its robot programme, dubbed Future Combat Systems, is budgeted to spend $240 billion over the next 20 years.
But Singer is worried that in the rush to bring out ever more advanced systems, many lethal robots will be rolled out before they are ready.
It is a terrifying prospect. 'Imagine a laptop armed with an M16 machine-gun,' one expert said.
According to Noel Sharkey, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at Sheffield University, one of the biggest concerns is that this growing army of robots could stray out of communication range.
'Just imagine a rogue robot roaming off the battlefield and into a nearby village,' he says. 'Without experts to shut it down, the results could be catastrophic.'
Number of US NCOs and US Officers killed by their own troops 86.
Number of US NCOs and US Officers wounded by their own troops 714.
The aircraft was flying a combat mission when positive control of the MQ-9 was lost. When the aircraft remained on a course that would depart Afghanistan's airspace, a US Air Force manned aircraft took proactive measures to down the Reaper in a remote area of northern Afghanistan.
Originally posted by deltaalphanovember
reply to post by jpmail
jpmail - you don't have much of a sense of humour do you? Read the article and all article from the Source. They write in a deliberate tongue-in-cheek manner.
This should not detract from the fact that a lot of their articles have an underlying level of seriousness as well as reporting on some cutting-edge technology.
Regarding hacking into military weapons - teenagers are hacking the Pentagon these days from their bedroom pc. I am sure Al Queda has some bright nerds behind the scenes too ... anything is possible - from hi-tech hacking control override systems to low-tech frequency hopping and jamming devices.
I like to think I have a good sence of houmor I did not pick up on the style of writing as just skimmed over it.
As for Al-queda having nerds no doubt about that I just wonder if they have a real world ability or it all propaganda its hard to tell with these guys.