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Artificial Intelligence in the US Military

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1 Artificial Intelligence in the US Military
The Global Hawk spy drone can take off by itself, fly 3,000 miles, spend a day spying on an area the size of the state of Maine, fly back 3,000 miles, and then land itself. Some uncharitably say it looks like “a flying albino whale.” (Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense) A Warrior robot uncovers a hidden roadside bomb. While robots are a revolutionary technology, war still remains messy and difficult, with an enemy already learning how to fight back. (Photograph courtesy of iRobot) A TALON robot in action. These technologies “save lives,” says a former Pentagon official. But he also worries that “There will be more marketing of wars. More 'shock and awe' talk to defray discussion of the costs.” (Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense) Images from

2 It sounds like science fiction, but it is fact: On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, robots are killing America’s enemies and saving American lives. But today’s Pack Bots, Predators, and Ravens are relatively primitive machines. The coming generation of “war-bots” will be immensely more sophisticated, and their development raises troubling new questions about how and when we wage war.

3 Strong vs. Weak AI Strong AI: “Artificial intelligence that matches or surpasses human intelligence.” Must be able to: Reason Plan Learn Communicate Integrate this skills towards common goals Weak AI: “Use of software to study and accomplish specific problem solving or reasoning tasks not encompassing full range of human cognitive abilities.” How it’s being done: the Blue Brain Project. Tries to simulate the human brain using supercomputers.

4 Packbot The packbot is only one of many unmanned systems operating in Iraq and Afgahnistan today. In 2003 there were no packbots in Iraq By the end of 2008, 12,000 packbots were projected to be deployed in Iraq These are just the 1st generation. Scientists are trying to equip potbots with automated machine guns and robotic ­stretcher

5 Raven UAV Raven Specs: Wing Span 4 ft 3 in Length 3 ft 7 in Weight 4.2 lb Engine Aveox 27/26/7-AV electric motor Cruising speed 60 mph Range 6.2 miles Endurance approx. 80 min The Raven is a remote-controlled miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The craft is launched by hand and powered by an electric motor. (

6 Biomimectics

7 Juice for your Noggin Why do you think unmanned systems have been used in greater numbers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you see this trend continuing? Will the robotics trend make wars easier or harder to start? Why? Will the robotics trend help or hurt America's standing in the world? How so? What do you think will be the key legal issues to resolve in the robotics field? Questions

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