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Robots In World War 3? One Author And Army Ranger’s Take On Battlefield AI

Mac Slavo
September 20th, 2018
Comments (35)
Read by 2,058 people

A former Army Ranger, Paul Scharre, the author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, has pondered the implications of robots and their role in a third world war. But what Scharre is really concerned about it robots and artificial intelligence that can act and make decisions without any human input at all.

It all seemed so far away a decade ago, but AI and what that means for the future of humanity is now looming. In Scharre’s new book about what robots and artificial intelligence and what it will mean for the future of warfare, all outcomes seem horrible.  Scharre has expressed his concerns that fighting machines that can act without any human input and behave in ways that are difficult to understand, reported Reason. 

Soldiers on the battlefield “have to choose between various shades of wrong,” says Scharre, who is also a defense analyst at the Center for a New American Security. “What does it say about us as humans…if we offload the moral responsibility of those decisions to machines?”

Reason‘s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Scharre to discuss the current state of autonomous weaponry, the implications for the future of warfare, and the likelihood that these tools will end up in the hands of “nonstate actors.”

“How do you program robots to follow not just the law but also some of these moral principles?” Scharre asks. Autonomous weapons appear to be the future, but just how bleak does that future look that robots could be taking human lives without suffering the moral consequences of doing so?


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Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 2,058 people
Date: September 20th, 2018

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.


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  1. Kevin2 says:

    What you get is the capability of a My Lai Massacre at any town within the USA at the whim of those in power. If ya think it would only be used on “them” I have a news flash, your one of them in their eyes.

  2. Deplorable Neal Jensen says:

    The only eventual outcome when man outsources his security and warfighting to machines will be the Logical one because that’s all that machines operate under. Machines don’t know emotions or values, but people assume that they are anthropomorphic and human like… A deadly assumption.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These hunks of junk will eventually go on a killing spree rampage.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Anonymous, those ‘hunks of junk’ can and will be defeated. Neither robots nor AI are totally proven technologies. If a robot comes to me, I’ll be on a rampage against it. Humans can also play ‘the rampage game’.

  4. Jim in Va. says:

    Can’t sue a robot……

  5. Johnny Roast Beef says:

    Hopefully modern weapons will make war obsolete.

  6. Pablo says:

    First autonomous uav vs uav shoot down happened yesterday.

  7. Frank Thoughts says:

    The most humane war is the decisive war. Think the ending of WWII with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Or the use of shock and awe to break Iraq. Or the demolition of Grozni.

    Inhumane war is the kind we see in Syria. A war that just drags on with no conclusion one way or another.

    Robots and AI offer the opportunity to bring conclusion back into war. We can sweep out all enemy in an area without risk to our own forces. Robots will prove very effective in urban warfare, the most dangerous form of warfare.

  8. the blame-e says:

    We wouldn’t need artificial intelligence (AI) if there was any real intelligence out there to speak of.

    Besides, when imperfect beings try to build perfect machines it always ends badly. Your output is only as good as the input.

    It does seem that the amount of advancing dystopia, the sheer size of the approaching shit-storm, in just about everything can only lead to only one thing: over-whelming violence against everything. Can’t wait.

  9. GETTING REAL says:

    I guess there is no defence to something like this.
    If my memory serves me right no armor piercing bullet are to be sold for civilian consumption.

    I think this law was enacted in 1985 by the Government.

    Can anyone set me straight on this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Armor piercing pistol ammo (cop killer bullets) are illegal.

      Some steel core rifle ammo is also banned by stretching that law if pistols are or can be chambered in it.

      Much rifle ammo actually designed for armor piercing military use (i.e, 5.56 NATO M855) is commonly sold to civilians (FWIW M855 is down in price now and as cheap or cheaper than most other 5.56/.223 ammo).

      • Green tip 5.56 Was actually designed to penetrate thick enemy web gear and the magazines inside the web gear. It’s not actually designed as “armor piercing”. Although, on you tube, you can see some armor is penetrated by standard FMJ 5.56.

      • GETTING REAL says:


        Is it the Black Talon pistol ammo. you are talking about ?
        I have never seen any but to my understanding the Black Talons were just a bullet with graphite lubricant.

      • Naya says:

        Green tip 5.56 is in no way armor piercing.
        Any good rifle round with go right thru body armor. Period. Black tip ammo is armor piercing and no civilian can buy it.
        I’ve shot tons of black tip ammo in the military as well as 5.56. Black tip goes thru ARMOR as in up armored humvees, Bradley’s, etc. won’t go thru a tank or anything like that. But still….

  10. Frank Thoughts says:

    The world already has too many people.It is now possible because of current data collection efforts to use via AI that information to determine which homosapiens are worth keeping and which should be destroyed. An AI-enabled robot can then use that data to make smart decisions when sweeping through urban areas. Knowing who has a high IQ worth keeping, or who has good DNA free of genetic disorders would mean a death-sweep to end a conflict could also have the added benefit of leaving behind high-quality humans to re-build. Intelligent warfare for the first time in human history.

    As we saw with both WWI and WWII, whole generations of intelligent young (white) men were wiped out. This was a great blow to humanity and this enabled the rise of the non-white races to where we are today, with an exploding population of non-whites with low IQs. Robot AI warfare offers an opportunity to tip the scales back to intelligence and high-quality genetics.

    The planet can’t afford to have another conflict where the smarter and more capable young humans are wiped out. However, we can have a conflict which clears the deck of the dumber ones and this would only improve humanity. As we saw in Iraq, obliterating the ISIS forces was both enjoyable and also had the effect of making the world safer – and slightly smarter.

    • Kevin2 says:

      Frank Thoughts

      Why do you believe that your immune from their use upon you?

      ” As we saw in Iraq, obliterating the ISIS forces was both enjoyable and also had the effect of making the world safer – and slightly smarter.’

      Sorry but do you read? Don’t you realize who is arming ISIS and what they are doing and how they were created?

    • the blame-e says:

      We could all breed like rabbits and over-whelm the system. That might work. Somebody will seriously suggest that. They will say how the current AI surveillance system is already over-worked and can’t possibly take on one more task.

      On the flip side, you can bet that if the planet undergoes any kind of de-population then, under the current AI surveillance system, those left will be surveilled even more than before.

      The dystopia never ends.

    • M Radant says:

      The first thing the USA needs to do is subsidizing indolence and bastardy. Smart, productive people are not having kids because it’s too damn expensive. But what Oinkle Sham is doing is subsidizing the stupid and the dregs having kids. Drug users, welfare mom’s with more than 2 kids should be sterilized!

  11. Beaumont says:

    The superior, human intelligences, which you are supposedly using, right now, were never assumed to be an autonomous, moral authority, unto themselves.

    They are run like a centipede, in their own words. Or, a single unit.

    You can see how civilians are processed, clinically, procedurally, in theaters, foreign and domestic. Robotic behavior can already be witnessed, in boring, hours-long, public-domain documentaries.

    They’re being conditioned, in terms of a pep rally. There’s a culty, clique-y dynamic, inwardly producing a form of philosophical intoxication.

    Although, outwardly, they might be regarded as machines.

  12. Beaumont says:

    To split hairs, here —

    Which does he see as the enemy:
    these tools
    non-state actors

    He doesn’t actually have any problems, with the robot, itself.

    The onus is put on the freethinker.

  13. TheGuy says:

    LOL the fuck.

    Trying to have a “conventional” WW3 is like trying to bareback a toothless prostitute and not get herpes.

  14. TheGuy says:

    “What does it say about us as humans…if we offload the moral responsibility of those decisions to machines?”

    Excuse me???!?!??!?

    You’ve been “offloading” that shit onto poor naive 18 year olds that don’t even want to be there for like… oh fucking… ever basically…

  15. K9BASE says:

    go old redneck shooten—for box spring=

  16. Interesting ideas. Some may actually be prescient. However the reality is nobody knows or can predict how AI
    will alter combat (as well as almost every other aspect of future life). However based on past history it’s a virtual certainty that once perfected AI will be used and abused by unscrupulous people. And the “SkyNet” fiction of sentient computers seeking to exterminate humanity is entirely too plausible and possible.

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