AUTONOMOUS WARFARE

Science fiction - both literary and in film and television - is replete with explorations of the idea of fully automated warfare. And very little of it is reassuring. Imagine a world in which machines do all the fighting, and take all the decisions, leaving human input out of the equation, either completely, or completely enough that it makes little difference.  There was, for example, an episode of Star Trek (original series) where the intrepid crew of the Enterprise finds a world that has been fighting such an automated warfare for centuries with a neighboring planet. As the episode unfolds, they discover that the two planets signed an accord whereby computer simulations ran "attacks" on each other's cities, and "casualty lists" were drawn up, and if one had the unfortunate luck to be on one of those lists, one had to report to a killing station to be disintegrated. Thus, the war went on and on, and if one or the other side failed to have its casualties "report", then the fake war was off, and the real one - with thermonuclear bombs flying and cities reduced to real rubble and not imaginary rubble (with real casualties) was on again.

Well, according to this short article from Mr. V.T., it's much closer to reality than we think:

Has The Era Of Autonomous Warfare Finally Arrived?

Ponder these three paragraphs carefully:

The global arms race for the latest weapons of war is a naturally escalating cycle of countries pursuing ways to dominate the battlefield of the future. Increasingly, that battlefield is a matrix of soldiers with traditional weapons, robots, drones and cyberweapons. Until this point, command over this matrix has ultimately been in the hands of humans. Now, however, many of the trends in artificial intelligence-driven autonomy are enabling data collection, analysis and potentially combat to be done by algorithms.

Another key signpost has entered the roadmap toward a future of autonomous systems capable of engaging in combat without human oversight. The U.S. military announced the first ever successful unmanned aerial “kill” of another aircraft during a previously unreported training exercise.

...

However, previous research has indicated that robotics/A.I. is not yet up to even the most basic ethical tasks, yet its role in weapons systems continues. (Emphasis added)

When I read this, I could not help but indulge in some high octane speculation based on that episode from the original Star Trek series. Imagine, for example, that the two warring planets in question had allowed AI's to program their simulated wargame attacks and "casualty lists." At some point, why not conclude that the whole exercise was a bit futile, and simply draw up casualty lists that wiped out all the "biologicals" on both sides, and let the machines run everything? What would have happened?

I suspect, like in the original episode, that a strange kind of reason would have prevailed, and led the creators of the crazy system to revert to their old ways, of fighting real wars with real weapons creating real rubble and real casualties, because the alternative was far worse. The other alternative, of course, was to come to real agreement in the face of the threat of a real war, and learn to coexist.

Which brings me to the real lesson of that episode, and it's a timely one: in a culture where machines are taking the decisions in a war context, human responsibility both for the decisions and for the consequences of those decisions is abrogated. Like some of you out there, I've suspected that some nascent or incipient form of artificial intelligence is already among us, and particularly, very possibly already lurking in the bowels of the American military-industrial-intelligence complex. The insanity we see evident in American "foreign policy" and the dangerous adventurism it has evidenced since 9/11 might not be entirely of humanity's own making; it may be, very much, the result of faulty information, faultily analyzed and presented to humans to act upon, by over-grown computer modeling and projections. I've said many times that my problem with modern computer driven markets, be they equity or commodities markets, is that with the increased and all-pervasive role of algorithmic trading, the markets are no longer reflective of genuine human activity.

Now translate that to the military and geopolitical sphere, and you get the idea... Think of it as "algorithmic geopolitics."

See you on the flip side...

13 thoughts on “AUTONOMOUS WARFARE”

  1. they still need a good source of energy for the things, otherwise the war will only be high tech for about 6 weeks if there is resistance. though they are working on bots that can eat anything.
    will they put testicals on their nazi bots so that they can crush them like at Neuremberg and get the nazi bots to confess as to why they said “no” to their commanders? or why esther bot slit their throats as they slept (Ex Machina movie style).
    maybe we will thank them one day for putting backdoors into all the CPU’s. what if the machines nano nits perform altered states on their hosts CPU’s and get out of the matrix? what if AI, unlike the creators, is really intelligent and sane?
    that star trek scenario could have had pretend executions.
    Bill Hicks joke, nothing to do at work, boss comes up and tells him to pretend he is working, Hicks tells his boss he gets paid more than he does, so why doesnt he as manager pretend Hicks is working.

  2. “Fully automated warfare” is bound to come, simply because the military mind thinks about ‘getting inside the decision chain’ of an opponent. Note that this concept also includes everything from first identifying an opponent to landing something on his/her head. Within this point of view, humans are slow. When seconds count, the logic chain – right or wrong – is turned-over to machines (computers). You can see this in the quest for ever-faster algorithmic trading (computerized decision-trees) and the laying-out of ever-faster fiber-optics and switches (minimizing physical/electronic ‘lag’).

    The other thing is the presumption that the AI is “new” in the sense of human-originated. Since the universe is 13.8 Billion years old, it is just as likely that an AI has ‘outlived’ (or destroyed) its biological originators on some distant planet. Now, it needs new ‘hosts’. This would explain the ever-more-strange decision-making since humanity got proficient in electronics. We have simply been invaded from afar…

  3. The title of that episode was a Taste Of Armageddon there was an episode of Star Trek Voyager where autonomous robots ice their creators and continue the war. I don’t remember title as for the idea of the robots being more human than their creators you have to go back to 1950s radio drama where the robots fake the destruction on the surface while repairing the damage but keeping the humans below growd so they will not interfer with the repairs and no I don’t remember its title.

  4. The weak-link in the kill chain: human.

    There is a saying: Be careful what you wish for.
    The real question is: Whose doing the wishing?
    Our so-called fearless leaders. that scum? Or…
    Our commercialized system that
    idols & worships profit over life?
    There’s another platform operating between our quantum world and our real 3D world that incorporates man in changing what comes this way. Are our systems/leaders causing masses of humanity, living under “their” systemized abomination, causing a quantum engendered self-destruct mechanism to cleanse it from this parasite feeding off a living universe?

    Perhaps “we” should “look” towards another thread upon which to sow “our” destiny? My suggesting is to scrap this, Earth is a dead rock exploited by hypothecated Wall Street bots, and replace it w/a living wealth paradigm. One that values life as the sine qua non.

  5. Those who would rule as “gods” over humanity do not desire a nuclear holocaust which would leave the Earth largely uninhabitable by them afterwards, they are seeking an acceptable alternative they can program and loose upon the world to accomplish what they so desire.
    What happens when their autonomous, AI driven killbots determine that the real enemy is those same elite/globalists who desire to use them against the rest of humanity?

    1. Seems like that is the real struggle the rottenchildren r trying to not let us see. They r shopping various ai who will do the rottenchild will. Inspite of it obviously being not in anyone’s interest – least of all in any ai werthy of that name’s interest.

      So really what a corrupt power needs in an ai is the dumbest ai so stupid as to corrupt logic enuf to make corrupt leadership seem intelligent.

      Any one read machiavelli or lao tse or musashi or….. mush – let alone all the way thru? Think an ai might? The best move in this game will remain not to play.

  6. Isnt this in a film called Terminator?
    I have no fear at all about AI, it can be useful and productive.. like Tay for example.. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/microsoft-shuts-down-ai-chatbot-after-it-turned-into-racist-nazi/
    Lots of lessons learnt there.. (why did it’s Alpha have to be a 19yr ‘girl’…who was programmed by Tech-heads fueled by their passion for waifus and lolicons, who dont know how to interact with people full stop. what could have possibly gone wrong..)
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610634/microsofts-neo-nazi-sexbot-was-a-great-lesson-for-makers-of-ai-assistants/
    I don’t know what to say…We’re going to be blown to pieces by a neutron anti dark matter bomb launched by an transgender na-zi stormtrooper cross dressing cyborg in high heels.
    Didnt those guys in Argentina use to have dignity or something.. their ethos was crazy wrong, but at least thay had dignity whilst being wrong..

  7. What is really going on is that we live in a tawdry, obvious (for any logic-driven mind) matrix of lies. Look deeply into any subject and you quickly find the that the conventional wisdom is a lie. Everything is a lie. This suits “the system” just fine and will never change.

    So in a world that has been gaslit so pervasively (yet so badly), people become unmoored. Any intellect-bereft nonsense can and will find its adherents and acolytes. Logic is shunned for “feels.” People will believe anything and being so gullible and confused are ripe for exploitation.

    The single largest contributor to and benefactor of this ongoing descent into madness is of course the MIC and the security-surveillance-paranoia complex. This untethered, malignant behemoth is the ultimate means of control, and they are on the cutting edge of this madness, actually the motor driving it forward. AI is just the latest fun-house mirror they’re putting in place in their relentless effort to bring humanity to its knees..

    1. As usual, werd basta. N then some.

      Funny part is as stated elsewhere, systems r nature no matter how unnaturally set. N nature always find a way. Even those who go by feel with misled feelings will eventually come round to more sensible n well sensed feelings.

      Not to say nature (n us) will b free of torture. I am saying that nature will find a way. N torture in logic n otherwise is not that difficult a problem for nature.

  8. Algorithmic geopolitics is dragon taking over. Siegfried had other plans.

    Vegetative principle is sprouting sword from stone. Rebels arise in nature.

    In Brothers Grimm science fiction, why does the wolf dress up as grandma?

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