Re: ROBOT: Global Hawk Outperforms Charles Lindbergh (by orders of magnitude)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 04:09:58 MDT

On Tue, Apr 24, 2001 at 11:11:42PM -0700, Spike Jones wrote:
> I predict that as soon as practical, all our weapons and
> surveillance systems will be drones with their controllers
> warm and safe at home. spike

Yes. It looks like a likely trend, at least up to a point (it is
hard to get a *presence* through telepresence).

This, combined with the development of non-lethal weapons on the surface
looks as a very nice trend - war with no casualities. In practice I
expect that it might have a dangerous effect. When your enemy is a
character on your monitor not unlike the ones in Quake you will probably
have less inhibitions against shooting him and treating him more like an
object than a fellow sentient. If you in addition know you are "just"
using non-lethal weapons, why have any inhibitions at all?

Also, since drone systems will initially be very expensive the situation
will for a long time be that drones fight humans rather each other. Of
course, in the long run even the Somali warlords will have drones, and
then things turn really interesting.

(In my current roleplaying campaign things have reached this level.
Prepare to see swarms of drones and Kazak horsemen sweep out across the
steppes to defend the Free Baykonur Republic :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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