The Future of Warfare?

True, robots possess the ultimate in courage, but in the Information Age, when perception management is key, what do robots represent and convey? How do they fit into counterinsurgency and reconstruction? How does the availability of robots affect policy makers’ choices?

Update: video may be downloaded here.

The video is from Tetra Vaal.

After
you see it once, replay the video and pay attention to some of the
poses that the robot makes. Let us, for example, take a look at the
robot holding the machine gun upright in a rather patronising and
authoritative manner while patrolling the streets of Johannesburg. Then
there is the car ride and casual looking through the window in a slight
mixture of relaxation, readiness and anticipation we would expect from
say, a NYPD officer ready to go to action in some American movie.
Perfect analogy to human behaviour and some good cliche pickups make
quite a combination.

It was posted by TV Robotics. Human Substitution Technologies

TV-Robotics; n-
The mass communication and sharing of information in relation to
automation in human substitution and issues associated with human
substitution technologies.

In response to an increase in
the development of technologies for the non human involvement in
various tasks this website has been set up to offer a research hub into
areas of developing technologies and related research.

Inspired
by the robotics agency Tetra Vaal this site takes into account
sensitive and ethical issues such as the distribution of labour between
human and non human participants, socio-economic environments and the
impact of non human involvement in human related issues.

Economic forces, ethics and philosophy related to the subject will form areas of interest as the site unfolds.

Currently the areas that are at the forefront of this new human endeavour are as follows:

.: Investment [brokering] and electronic commerce management for companies involved in TV-Robotics projects
.: Funding and increasing awareness of new media applications
.: Direct integration of technology into practical applications
.: Research into Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetic Bio-Engineering
.: Finance recruitment for quantum computational architecture
.: Advice on new applications for finance, accounting, banking, investment and business in order to encourage interfaces
…between new developments and the companies involved
.: Genetic engineering

4 Replies to “The Future of Warfare?”

  1. Robots send a very clear and powerful message: that the force using them is willing to trade its hardware for your lives. John Robb has aptly noted, as have several bloggers, that the more secure we make ourselves the less secure our future becomes.In the context of “Just War”, robots with weapons violate the _Jus in Bello_ premise of “Proportionality”, and create greater challenges in Phase IV / Stabilization.

  2. “robots with weapons violate the _Jus in Bello_ premise of “Proportionality” “For argument’s sake, isn’t your statement based on a broad set of assumptions? Also, isn’t using robots an increase in our security or based on economic / political determinents?

  3. It’s both – they obviously increase our security (but at a high cost in perception), and they are employed for *our own* economic and political determinants. Now flip the coin and see if the converse is equally true; not, then you have a _Jus in Bello_ issue.

  4. The perception issue may be central. There’s a perceived level of committment and management of the “last three feet” of interaction that creates the perception of the Other. From our side, would deploying a robot, and not a human, be akin to “lobbing” cruise missiles at a target, in say, Afghanistan or Sudan?I still don’t see the Jus in Bello issue, though, unless you assume a binary fight or flight reaction. Even Marines can be tamed…

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