The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone's ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death and destruction can be dealt by machines operating semi-independently.
Although humans would program an autonomous drone's flight plan and could override its decisions, the prospect of heavily armed aircraft screaming through the skies without direct human control is unnerving to many.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
SkyNet has arrived
Skynet has arrived. Or at least one of its peripheraks has:
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"Nine South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers were killed and 14 injured by the system during a training exercise at the SANDF Battle School at Lohatla in the Northen Cape province. A line of 8 cannons were engaging a tank hulk in manual ground fire with the guns at low elevation and the maximum traverse of the barrels secured by safety poles and tethers. The rightmost gun jammed while firing and had to be repaired by technicians. Shortly after the gun was cleared to fire again, the gun malfunctioned, entered automatic mode, broke through the traversal-restriction safety mechanisms and began firing, striking the other guns along the firing line."
The sword is probably already over our heads.
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