Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vault-Co Told You So Five Years Ago!

I got an email back in 2003 from somebody who wrote "Tex, I enjoy your site as a review of what is going on in the world in terms of military escalation. I don't appreciate it when you go off on tangents like recently when you started saying this crazy stuff about terminator robots in World War III. Whether you realize it or not, it reduces your credibility and makes you sound like a nut. Any reasonable person would know that it will be at least fifty years before the technology is advanced enough to support this. I think you need a layman's introduction to AI programming so you could understand the problems involved. It is going to be a hundred years before we see a combat robot that functions as well as a good dog in a rough situation."

Or not.

Remember when the U.S. government was saying such 'bots would never be autonomous or mounted with weapons they would use independently of a human operator? Well, that blew over pretty quickly as well.
I predict in WW3 we will not see convincing humanoid robots with genocidal orders roaming nations. I predict we will see much more frightening non-humanoid robots with genocidal orders roaming nations. They will be very good at their jobs, too.
Imagine that dog-bot with methanol fuel cells being told to follow you wherever you tried to run to and kill you at the earliest convenience with a lightweight low power mounted pulsed laser.
Wrapped in thin nanotube carbon fiber armor that your average round from a .357 can't even make a dent in.
You'd probably laugh at it for the first couple of days. Maybe after it had followed you two hundred miles over rough terrain for weeks it wouldn't be so funny anymore. After three months of this dog tracking you relentlessly, you'd start to see why these things have the potential to be the stuff of nightmares.
New olfactory sensors coming on the embedded market for dimes. Imagine that 'bot having a better sense of smell than most bloodhounds. Maybe they'll make it able to swim, at some point. It would never give up. Then postulate the AI getting better and better. It could predict you were trying to fool it and outwit you. Use sound or radar to detect pits you dug for it hoping it would fall in. Remember, it has no need for sleep, so whenever you are resting it is catching up on you. Unlike you, it can see in the dark and your body heat lights you up wherever you stop.
Still not so bad, right? You reckon you could take the thing out.
Now I want you to imagine 200+ of them operating as a wireless networked team with a hive mind and fuzzy logic that is mirrored on every individual robot hound.
Starting to see the picture now?


Anonymous said...

F--- me!

That is Freaking scary. Couple that with those auto aiming guns you posted video's of a while ago......

Let's hope the US goes BROKE very soon. Predator aircraft / BIG DOG / AUTO SENTRIES / METAL STORM + other devices we have yet to see.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Tex - that has freaked me out more than madmen with nukes

Anonymous said...

Crap. Crap. Crap.

Thats the spookiest shiite I ever seen. didn't think any terrain crawler was that good.

must. use. more. concrete.

Anonymous said...

The scary thing is that I had video of that robot on my blog LAST YEAR. By now it must be armed and armoured.

Still I think a good ol'molotov would take it down (or fry the sensors long enough to run the hell away).


Justin Patrick said...

Did you know there is currently an historical flood situation occurring right now in the central US? It looks like some areas (like Cape Girardeau, Mo.) are starting to exceed 10 inches or 240 millimeters of rain in the past day!

A Thousand Good Intentions said...

okay okay... I know this is going to get me labeled as a nerd... Let me disclaim by stating that I haven't been into ANY kinds of video games for a few years...

BUT. One thing I do know is that all AI's are controlled by mathematical functions, and are eventually predictable, and those predictions are exploitable. Ask any kid who'se good at even the impossible levels of the 'shootemup' games. Those AI's, not being bogged down by the logistics of moving a real physical body, are far more advanced than what you might see in the real world. They can mathematically track and predict movement and aim with perfect accuracy on any moving target...

But in the end, they ARE predictable. and those predictions ARE exploitable by the infinitely superior human mind.

The only real problem is that you don't get any 'game over' trials while trying to figure out those exploitable weaknesses.

Anonymous said...

At a megabuck each one well constructed and aimed projectile at less than $10
Defeat it
if you can shoot straight!

trueaim said...

They're called sheeple dogs!
Gotta get myself a flame thrower!

Anonymous said...

Yep, Freaky shit.

I'm thinking plenty of barb-wire to tangle the things in.


DiversityIsStrength said...

Although I loathe all things militaristic, I think these robots will become quite useful during the Obama Presidency when he orders that the military disarms and confiscates the guns from racist, gun-toting white males. I will look on in glee as NRA types are reduced to blubbering simpletons as they beg for mercy in the new politically correct and multiracial regime.

Chesterton said...

What about EMP? These robots are spooky, but I don't think they'll be a problem during or after WWIII. Things could get scary before the nukes drop, though.

Anonymous said...

You may be one of the first to get an up close look if you live in one of our fine metropolitan areas.
When the fiat dollar economy finally goes the way of the dinosaur, all that .Gov cheese and peanut butter won't last very long.
The Cities will be the first to burn. Gun-toting redneck A-holes like me won't have too much to worry about, aside from breaking cover during daylight hours to chase a few hood rats away from the garden.

Bad Dad

Anonymous said...

Artificial muscles may not be that far off.


Anonymous said...

attn: 1000 good intentions...

Don't you remember that a computer beat the world's best chess player? If AI was as predictable as you say, that couldn't happen. Let's clarify: GOOD AI is not predictable.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting vid of a climbing robot over at Newscientist.