The future of warfare will be autonomous, algorithmic and robotic, in many cases it already is. We have missile defense systems which act based on information without waiting for a human to make the decision. We have robotic aircraft, and autonomous systems everywhere we look. Most of our adversaries both large and small use robotics, electronics, and autonomous devices to serve their will in battle. A smaller army needs an advantage, and the old days of lining up and having a war of attrition are long gone. Since all armies or opponents seek an advantage and since robotics, autonomous systems are an advantage – these systems will be deployed as often as possible.
There was a rather interesting article on Singularity Hub titled; “Watch These 1,069 Robots Dance Their Way to a New World Record,” by Vanessa Bates Ramirez on September 5, 2017 that stated:
“WL Tech held the dance party to demonstrate their latest robotic technology. The robots were all programmed via one group control system. One Dobi Robot is 47cm tall, weighs 2.15 kilos, and costs $330. Besides dancing, the robot can also walk, talk, and do Tai Chi. There’s a lot of anxiety around robots taking on new capabilities. They’re already smarter than us in some ways. Can they eventually become conscious? Will they steal all our jobs? Amid these worries, and for better or worse, robots will likely continue to infiltrate our lives in various capacities-so we may as well have some fun with them.”
For this demonstration and I believe there is a YouTube clip of it somewhere, they lined up the robots like an army in a parade to do their performance. If you were to blur the video image with your eyes or just back up a little you would be able to tell these were cute little robots or storm troopers with weapons. Indeed, it’s the same technology either way anyhow.
Many cringe at the thought of robotic armies slaughtering humans, many nations now are convening in Geneva to update the Geneva Convention when it comes to robotic weapons, especially fully autonomous ones (no human in the loop or at the controls by remote). Still, who says it will be robots killing humans, most likely it will be robotic armies attacking other defending robotic armies and the nation with the best robots wins – thus, the other surrenders to their political will. Think this is all science fiction? It’s not, it’s almost here, yes, you should be concerned.
Where do we go from here? Well, there isn’t much that can be done, we are already well on our way, and really no nation has ever strictly followed the Geneva Convention 100% and even if many nations do, not every adversary is a member to the Geneva Convention set of rules. Think on this.