Robot Wars

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Not trying to focus on machines that get out of control, but how long do you think it will be before human beings are removed from direct combat roles in favor of drones and other remotely controlled/A.I. vehicles? My guess is as soon as 100 years.

    We have all ready seen probably the last generation manned fighter aircraft. They can be made much less expensive without instruments, environmental systems, and the advantage of a low profile and high sustainable g's that a human could not take. And what costs more- train a soldier, feed them and pay them or build an army of machines? They are not there yet but moving rapidly towards it.

    This video does not apply to this discussion but is interesting none the less, an in-development mech suit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9k4oUNHLJs
     
  2. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #2
    The success of The Predator shows we can already do it with planes. IIRC, the B2 Spirit (The Stealth Bomber, Black Death, Evil Triangle, etc) is to my understanding, very heavily automated despite having pilots. I'd assume it is because they do carry nukes and need to avoid deterrence.

    I'd say full automation in a lot less than 100...maybe as early as 20?
     
  3. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #3
    i'm not so sure: remote controlled drones or vehicles proved very efficient in asynchronus combat against some dudes wielding rpgs and ak-47s in a desert, but against forces with actual tactical strike capabilites or electronic warfare equipment?
    don't forget that while 20 drones in the air prove a very uninteresting target in terms of human losses... a remote controlled station for drones with 20-30 dudes sitting in front of screens controlling them is a _very juicy target_ for a single rocket, 20 actual planes controlled by real pilots are much more redundant and with less 'single point of failure' problems

    on cost you have to keep in mind that a very high tech army needs very high tech maintainence crew and engineers and then there is still the total unpredictability of electronic warfare and ground combat
     
  4. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #4
    This is both very true. I suppose once you have people controlling electronics to fight wars than you need to have the controllers dispersed (geographically speaking).

    I would say today that total unpredictability is an issue of warfare and ground combat even with humans doing all of the work.
     
  5. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    Advanced A.I. will be required to achieve. I don't know enough to argue costs of maintaining a human army vs robotic army. I do know people are expensive on multiple levels and have needs that machines don't. :)
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #6
    Never.

    Noone cares if a robot vehicle gets shot down - there's no emotional impact. It's just a computer game - not War.

    War is about killing people. That's the whole point.

    Unless of course you're assuming that only one side has the technology and the other side "just" has people getting killed. Personally I think we need a new Geneva convention to stop that from happening. The stakes need to be equally high on both sides - being able to kill with complete impunity is genocide.
     
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #7
    The US would never sign up to that. Look at their massive use of Predator drones in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border regions. I don't know how many people they've killed with them but clearly there has been zero risk to US lives in doing so...
     
  8. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #8
    I know they wouldn't! :)

    I think we're getting to a point where these questions need to be raised though.
     
  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    I think you have confused my point. I never said or implied that people would not be killed. I'm talking about who or what will carry out military actions and if it is two technically advanced countries, the large scale battles may just be robot vs robot. The killing of people will take place if and when they appear to contest the presence of a robotic army invading their country/cities.
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #10
    I don't think I have.

    I just don't see the point of a robot vs. robot battle. You may as well switch to online warfare.
     
  11. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    This is the deal, human soldiers only have so much in the way of physical abilities and the ability to withstand punishment to their bodies. The only way to augment this is by machines, either mech units or independent robots. It's just a matter of time before the humans are removed from the machine.

    If equipped with the right capabilities and independent A.I., robots will have more physical abilities and will be able to digest large quantities of tactical data faster than a human. A drone aircraft will be able to outperform a human flown aircraft hands down simply because of human physiological limits.

    If the goal is to take over territory or beat another group of humans into submission, how would a robot vs robot battle be any less effective at accomplishing this or other war based goals? Once their robot army is beat, humans might decide the best option is to give up, of course, they might decide to take to the streets and keep fighting but if all your resources have been put into your robot army, you're not going to have much effective equipment to fight machines.
     
  12. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #12
    You misunderstand me.

    I don't contest that robot military machines are and will be extremely capable.

    What I disagree with is that we'll see extensive robot-on-robot warfare, because it's only when humans get involved that political goals get furthered. War isn't about land grabs any more - it's about hearts and minds.

    The lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq point to the down side of using un-matched high tech force against an low tech advisary. The 'little guy' can still fight back by bringing war away from the battlefield and back to the general population in the form of terrorism.
     
  13. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    I was responding to your "what is the point?" comment and I disagree with your contention, but we can still be friends. :)

    There is a huge point regarding combat. Machines can do it better. Humans will be removed from air combat vehicles, this trend is well underway. There is no reason to believe it won't happen on the ground. How well the little guy can fight back depends in large part on the physical abilities and A.I. of the machines they are fighting.
     
  14. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #14
    Good! :D

    I'm wondering if nuclear warfare is a good example of a technology that just got 'too easy' to kill people without risk to the side deploying it. We ended up limiting that pretty quickly - and it remains only as a threat.

    Perhaps mechanised warfare will go the same way. It'll just be too easy and painless (and too ruthlessly efficient) to send a mechanised army into battle. I can see there being some limitations on their use coming into place.
     
  15. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    The interesting aspect of this discussion is that people don't conduct warfare with their fists. For the most part, they use tools. And whether it is a human holding a rifle or a machine holding a rifle, if equipped with an adaptive A.I., the machine has much more going for it, they never tire, never get depressed, are highly accurate, posses greater resistance to damage, etc. Humans will always be in the equation from a decision making standpoint, but they will eventually be removed from direct control because, machines prove daily they can do a much better job of killing.
     

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