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Can battlefield robots replace soldiers?

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posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 05:55 AM
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Can battlefield robots replace soldiers?


news.bbc.co.uk

Can war be fought by lots of well-behaved machines, making it "safer for humans"? That is the seductive vision, and hope, of those manufacturing and researching the future of military robotics.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
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news.bbc.co.uk

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posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 05:55 AM
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Found this on the BBC news website... The article covers the current trend in automated warfighting, and also raises the ethical concerns about the idea. Its an interesting article, but I would love to know what the membership feel about this subject? Would it be a benifit to have robots on the battlefield, keeping humans away from the fight? Or would it cause more trouble than it would solve?

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:15 AM
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I think it's less a matter of if but when. Robotics are advancing at a steady pace and I think wide scale military use is inevitable.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:23 AM
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Robots will never replace humans on the front line, there will be a guaranteed explosion of robots in war, but no reduction of troops



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by Raverous
 


What I am really trying to find out is not wether we think its inevitable or not, but wether it will be of benifit to us as a species, or wether we think that it will be worse for us to do things this way. Basicaly Im looking to hear the moral and ethical opinions of the membership , trying to gauge the level of awareness of how serious something like this is.
Do you believe that war will be somehow improved by the presence of armoured robots? Or do you believe that it will create more havok in what are usualy already terrible situations?



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:32 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


I hope so, using bots to fight our battles would definitely save countless lives bu the question is will it be more expensive? I know it sounds bad but most people in power are probably worried robot armies will use to much resources and money, a soldier who will volunteer to be put in harms way is much cheaper in the long run. Then again a robot wouldn't have to be trained or fed and factories producing military androids would certainly create new manufacturing jobs that would hopefully not be outsource-able.

Then comes the question of intelligence. How smart are these machines? We must make sure they aren't smart enough to turn against us but even more we must make sure they aren't smart enough to be considered slaves. Once you cross the sentient line, once the machines are self-aware, it becomes ethically questionable to keep them as battle-slaves.

Also there is the issue of torture and interrogation, currently it can be hard to get info from a captured soldier but if these battle-bots were captured could they be easily hacked to glean info about the strategy of ones enemy?

Needless to say it raises a lot of questions.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


Interesting points. You say that you think that it would be a good thing to have robots out there instead of men. I wonder dont you think theres a risk that the value of human life might be undermined if warfighting becomes a task for mere machines? I mean how can a machine tell between a man defending his home, and a terrorist, or anyone else with a gun in his hand?
Dont you think that the risk of increased collateral damage is too high ?



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:45 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


Yes,they can be used to replace humans totally,but where is the fun in that?War has its purposes for those who wage it,and a war fought by robots only would not serve those purposes.What would likely happen is countries with robots using them to attack civilians and human soldiers,and robots fighting side by side with human soldiers,and some being controlled by humans in the same way as in Avatar.But whichever way it goes,robots will end up being used to attack humans.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 





factories producing military androids would certainly create new manufacturing jobs that would hopefully not be outsource-able.


Factory's are always able to be out sourced



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 06:50 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


I don't think that robot armies should be sent to kill men, only other robot armies. I'm thinking far into the future here, I'm not thinking we're going to send robots to find Bin Laden or some other terrorists. Far into the future when every nation can afford these bots then we can have robot armies with no people in them, when there is no collateral damage and no people dying at all in war, until then we will need some amount of human personnel on the battlefield.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by Godwill
 


Well this is where the ethical dilema comes in. Im a man. I can tell alot about the intentions of other men by intimate knowlege of body language, expression, tension. I do all this faster than the speed of sound, with one glance. No matter how good a machine might be, theres no way they can ever be as acutely aware of another beings intentions as another human. In that scenario then , a man walks down the street, hes armed, but not pointing a gun at me or anyone else, just approaching. Now me , I would ask the guy what his game is, but a machine would just see the gun, see the advancing guy , and think "Deletion Protocol Active...Initiating".... BANG! Potential ally gets his brain pan remodeled , and all because a machine cannot truely tell what a persons intent is from his body language.
Another thing. Military commanders are prone to giving orders which quite frankly are moraly unjustifiable , and do not provide enough respect for innocent life (example "Theres like five terrorists in this building, and fifty four non combatants"...."Yeah blow the building up, screw the occupants. Shouldnt be letting the heavily armed, dangerous men in if they want to avoid a bombing!"). If the order is so utterly disgusting that a soldier, no matter how damaged, or covered in the blood of his allies might be, cannot carry it out, then guess what? Now the soul dead leaders of men can just order a spiritless , heartless , cold, calculating deathmachine to do the deed instead. A death machine which has a deletable memory, no family to pay off in the event of death or injury, no psychotherapy to pay for, no clothing, or medical supplies, or even food. Just bullets and spare tracks for these guys.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


Robots will never replace soldiers like me on the battlefield. In time the enemy would learn the robots weaknesses like they have learned ours and dedicate their attacks with more explosive results. Depending on the cost effectiveness of replacements might be a factor. For example a soldier that has been trained from basic training to the next deployment and somehow dies, the life insurance on that soldier is around $400,000. Now if robots cost the same but needed high maintenence and lots of crews to keep them operational then which one of the two would really be cost effective and still make TPTB a profit? That is why they won't replace us soon because we are most likely cost effective.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by Stop-loss!
 


I completely agree, I can see the repair and maintanance on a robot army being quite high. Its more the moral problems associated with thier possible use that I would like to more thoroughly explore in this thread . I have deep reservations about the chances of these things being used to preform tasks that your average soldier would refuse to perfom. Eg killing un armed civilians for no reason .



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 07:35 AM
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Nah, EMP based weapons would wreak havoc on an all robot army



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by PlayeR87
 


Indeed! At the end of the day, autonomous robot combatants are only really useful as a thought experiment... a cool one though.

In regards to international law, an autonomous robot combatant is illegal. The law states the there must always be a human in the loop... and this logic is qualified by a multitude of reasons.

IRM



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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I don't believe that "real" soldiers will ever be fully replaced by bots but I think we're going to see a future where the first few waves of an invasion are entirely bots with special elite groups of human soldiers following.
And when the Jihadists cry "cowardly American infidels! Fight like men!"
We'll say,"NO- unlike you we don't send our children out to die"



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


I think we have a long way to go before we start to worry about robots ruling the battlefield. There is just simply way to many variables involved, computer technology is definately advancing rapidly but still doesn't even come close to the computing power of the human brain. Now probably in the not too distant future you may see a hybrid type of soldier like an exo-skeleton suit of some sort but that would probably never see frontline use because of expense and risk of enemy capturing your technology. You would probably see a hybrid more involved in logistics like loading ordinance on bombers and fighter jets. If its ever to be used its gonna be somewhere safe on a guarded base. Still a long way to go though before the technology can be as efficient as a human on the frontline though.



posted on Feb, 8 2010 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Aliensdoexist
 


I appreciate that there may be years before any viable technology gets placed on the battle field. That is not my concern. My concern lies in the area of ethics and morality, and those are in my opinion, well worth thinking about now, so that clear and full understanding of the implications of animatronic killers are in place before we have to deal with our governments trying to pass this off as a good idea!



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