Military robots and the future of war | P.W. Singer


I thought I’d begin with a scene of war. There was little to warn of the danger ahead. The Iraqi insurgent had placed the IED, an Improvised Explosive Device, along the side of the road with great care. By 2006, there were more than 2,500 of these attacks every single month, and they were the leading cause of casualties among American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The team that was hunting for this IED is called an EOD team— Explosives Ordinance Disposal—and they’re the pointy end of the spear in the American effort to suppress these roadside bombs. Each EOD team goes out on about 600 of these bomb calls every year, defusing about two bombs a day. Perhaps the best sign of how valuable they are to the war effort, is that the Iraqi insurgents put a $50,000 bounty on the head of a single EOD soldier. Unfortunately, this particular call would not end well. By the time the soldier advanced close enough to see the telltale wires of the bomb, it exploded in a wave of flame. Now, depending how close you are and how much explosive has been packed into that bomb, it can cause death or injury. You have to be as far as 50 yards away to escape that. The blast is so strong it can even break your limbs, even if you’re not hit. That soldier had been on top of the bomb. And so when the rest of the team advanced they found little left. And that night the unit’s commander did a sad duty, and he wrote a condolence letter back to the United States, and he talked about how hard the loss had been on his unit, about the fact that they had lost their bravest soldier, a soldier who had saved their lives many a time. And he apologized for not being able to bring them home. But then he talked up the silver lining that he took away from the loss. “At least,” as he wrote, “when a robot dies, you don’t have to write a letter to its mother.” That scene sounds like science fiction, but is battlefield reality already. The soldier in that case was a 42-pound robot called a PackBot. The chief’s letter went, not to some farmhouse in Iowa like you see in the old war movies, but went to the iRobot Company, which is named after the Asimov novel and the not-so-great Will Smith movie, and… um… (Laughter)… if you remember that in that fictional world, robots started out carrying out mundane chores, and then they started taking on life-and-death decisions. That’s a reality we face today. What we’re going to do is actually just flash a series of photos behind me that show you the reality of robots used in war right now or already at the prototype stage. It’s just to give you a taste. Another way of putting it is you’re not going to see anything that’s powered by Vulcan technology, or teenage wizard hormones or anything like that. This is all real. So why don’t we go ahead and start those pictures. Something big is going on in war today, and maybe even the history of humanity itself. The U.S. military went into Iraq with a handful of drones in the air. We now have 5,300. We went in with zero unmanned ground systems. We now have 12,000. And the tech term “killer application” takes on new meaning in this space. And we need to remember that we’re talking about the Model T Fords, the Wright Flyers, compared to what’s coming soon. That’s where we’re at right now. One of the people that I recently met with was an Air Force three-star general, and he said basically, where we’re headed very soon is tens of thousands of robots operating in our conflicts, and these numbers matter, because we’re not just talking about tens of thousands of today’s robots, but tens of thousands of these prototypes and tomorrow’s robots, because of course, one of the things that’s operating in technology is Moore’s Law, that you can pack in more and more computing power into those robots, and so flash forward around 25 years, if Moore’s Law holds true, those robots will be close to a billion times more powerful in their computing than today. And so what that means is the kind of things that we used to only talk about at science fiction conventions like Comic-Con have to be talked about in the halls of power and places like the Pentagon. A robots revolution is upon us. Now, I need to be clear here. I’m not talking about a revolution where you have to worry about the Governor of California showing up at your door, a la the Terminator. (Laughter) When historians look at this period, they’re going to conclude that we’re in a different type of revolution: a revolution in war, like the invention of the atomic bomb. But it may be even bigger than that, because our unmanned systems don’t just affect the “how” of war-fighting, they affect the “who” of fighting at its most fundamental level. That is, every previous revolution in war, be it the machine gun, be it the atomic bomb, was about a system that either shot faster, went further, had a bigger boom. That’s certainly the case with robotics, but they also change the experience of the warrior and even the very identity of the warrior. Another way of putting this is that mankind’s 5,000-year-old monopoly on the fighting of war is breaking down in our very lifetime. I’ve spent the last several years going around meeting with all the players in this field, from the robot scientists to the science fiction authors who inspired them to the 19-year-old drone pilots who are fighting from Nevada, to the four-star generals who command them, to even the Iraqi insurgents who they are targeting and what they think about our systems, and what I found interesting is not just their stories, but how their experiences point to these ripple effects that are going outwards in our society, in our law and our ethics, etc. And so what I’d like to do with my remaining time is basically flesh out a couple of these. So the first is that the future of war, even a robotics one, is not going to be purely an American one. The U.S. is currently ahead in military robotics right now, but we know that in technology there’s no such thing as a permanent first move or advantage. In a quick show of hands, how many people in this room still use Wang Computers? (Laughter) It’s the same thing in war. The British and the French invented the tank. The Germans figured out how to use it right, and so what we have to think about for the U.S. is that we are ahead right now, but you have 43 other countries out there working on military robotics, and they include all the interesting countries like Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran. And this raises a bigger worry for me. How do we move forward in this revolution given the state of our manufacturing and the state of our science and mathematics training in our schools? Or another way of thinking about this is, what does it mean to go to war increasingly with soldiers whose hardware is made in China and software is written in India? But just as software has gone open-source, so has warfare. Unlike an aircraft carrier or an atomic bomb, you don’t need a massive manufacturing system to build robotics. A lot of it is off the shelf. A lot of it’s even do-it-yourself. One of those things you just saw flashed before you was a raven drone, the handheld tossed one. For about a thousand dollars, you can build one yourself, equivalent to what the soldiers use in Iraq. That raises another wrinkle when it comes to war and conflict. Good guys might play around and work on these as hobby kits, but so might bad guys. This cross between robotics and things like terrorism is going to be fascinating and even disturbing, and we’ve already seen it start. During the war between Israel, a state, and Hezbollah, a non-state actor, the non-state actor flew four different drones against Israel. There’s already a jihadi website that you can go on and remotely detonate an IED in Iraq while sitting at your home computer. And so I think what we’re going to see is two trends take place with this. First is, you’re going to reinforce the power of individuals against governments, but then the second is that we are going to see an expansion in the realm of terrorism. The future of it may be a cross between al Qaeda 2.0 and the next generation of the Unabomber. And another way of thinking about this is the fact that, remember, you don’t have to convince a robot that they’re gonna receive 72 virgins after they die to convince them to blow themselves up. But the ripple effects of this are going to go out into our politics. One of the people that I met with was a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Ronald Reagan, and he put it this way: “I like these systems because they save American lives, but I worry about more marketization of wars, more shock-and-awe talk, to defray discussion of the costs. People are more likely to support the use of force if they view it as costless.” Robots for me take certain trends that are already in play in our body politic, and maybe take them to their logical ending point. We don’t have a draft. We don’t have declarations of war anymore. We don’t buy war bonds anymore. And now we have the fact that we’re converting more and more of our American soldiers that we would send into harm’s way into machines, and so we may take those already lowering bars to war and drop them to the ground. But the future of war is also going to be a YouTube war. That is, our new technologies don’t merely remove humans from risk. They also record everything that they see. So they don’t just delink the public: they reshape its relationship with war. There’s already several thousand video clips of combat footage from Iraq on YouTube right now, most of it gathered by drones. Now, this could be a good thing. It could be building connections between the home front and the war front as never before. But remember, this is taking place in our strange, weird world, and so inevitably the ability to download these video clips to, you know, your iPod or your Zune gives you the ability to turn it into entertainment. Soldiers have a name for these clips. They call it war porn. The typical one that I was sent was an email that had an attachment of video of a Predator strike taking out an enemy site. Missile hits, bodies burst into the air with the explosion. It was set to music. It was set to the pop song “I Just Want To Fly” by Sugar Ray. This ability to watch more but experience less creates a wrinkle in the public’s relationship with war. I think about this with a sports parallel. It’s like the difference between watching an NBA game, a professional basketball game on TV, where the athletes are tiny figures on the screen, and being at that basketball game in person and realizing what someone seven feet really does look like. But we have to remember, these are just the clips. These are just the ESPN SportsCenter version of the game. They lose the context. They lose the strategy. They lose the humanity. War just becomes slam dunks and smart bombs. Now the irony of all this is that while the future of war may involve more and more machines, it’s our human psychology that’s driving all of this, it’s our human failings that are leading to these wars. So one example of this that has big resonance in the policy realm is how this plays out on our very real war of ideas that we’re fighting against radical groups. What is the message that we think we are sending with these machines versus what is being received in terms of the message. So one of the people that I met was a senior Bush Administration official, who had this to say about our unmanning of war: “It plays to our strength. The thing that scares people is our technology.” But when you go out and meet with people, for example in Lebanon, it’s a very different story. One of the people I met with there was a news editor, and we’re talking as a drone is flying above him, and this is what he had to say. “This is just another sign of the coldhearted cruel Israelis and Americans, who are cowards because they send out machines to fight us. They don’t want to fight us like real men, but they’re afraid to fight, so we just have to kill a few of their soldiers to defeat them.” The future of war also is featuring a new type of warrior, and it’s actually redefining the experience of going to war. You can call this a cubicle warrior. This is what one Predator drone pilot described of his experience fighting in the Iraq War while never leaving Nevada. “You’re going to war for 12 hours, shooting weapons at targets, directing kills on enemy combatants, and then you get in the car and you drive home and within 20 minutes, you’re sitting at the dinner table talking to your kids about their homework.” Now, the psychological balancing of those experiences is incredibly tough, and in fact those drone pilots have higher rates of PTSD than many of the units physically in Iraq. But some have worries that this disconnection will lead to something else, that it might make the contemplation of war crimes a lot easier when you have this distance. “It’s like a video game,” is what one young pilot described to me of taking out enemy troops from afar. As anyone who’s played Grand Theft Auto knows, we do things in the video world that we wouldn’t do face to face. So much of what you’re hearing from me is that there’s another side to technologic revolutions, and that it’s shaping our present and maybe will shape our future of war. Moore’s Law is operative, but so’s Murphy’s Law. The fog of war isn’t being lifted. The enemy has a vote. We’re gaining incredible new capabilities, but we’re also seeing and experiencing new human dilemmas. Now, sometimes these are just “oops” moments, which is what the head of a robotics company described it, you just have “oops” moments. Well, what are “oops” moments with robots in war? Well, sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes, they’re like that scene from the Eddie Murphy movie “Best Defense,” playing out in reality, where they tested out a machine gun-armed robot, and during the demonstration it started spinning in a circle and pointed its machine gun at the reviewing stand of VIPs. Fortunately the weapon wasn’t loaded and no one was hurt, but other times “oops” moments are tragic, such as last year in South Africa, where an anti-aircraft cannon had a “software glitch,” and actually did turn on and fired, and nine soldiers were killed. We have new wrinkles in the laws of war and accountability. What do we do with things like unmanned slaughter? What is unmanned slaughter? We’ve already had three instances of Predator drone strikes where we thought we got bin Laden, and it turned out not to be the case. And this is where we’re at right now. This is not even talking about armed, autonomous systems with full authority to use force. And do not believe that that isn’t coming. During my research I came across four different Pentagon projects on different aspects of that. And so you have this question: what does this lead to issues like war crimes? Robots are emotionless, so they don’t get upset if their buddy is killed. They don’t commit crimes of rage and revenge. But robots are emotionless. They see an 80-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair the same way they see a T-80 tank: they’re both just a series of zeroes and ones. And so we have this question to figure out: How do we catch up our 20th century laws of war, that are so old right now that they could qualify for Medicare, to these 21st century technologies? And so, in conclusion, I’ve talked about what seems the future of war, but notice that I’ve only used real world examples and you’ve only seen real world pictures and videos. And so this sets a great challenge for all of us that we have to worry about well before you have to worry about your Roomba sucking the life away from you. Are we going to let the fact that what’s unveiling itself right now in war sounds like science fiction and therefore keeps us in denial? Are we going to face the reality of 21st century war? Is our generation going to make the same mistake that a past generation did with atomic weaponry, and not deal with the issues that surround it until Pandora’s box is already opened up? Now, I could be wrong on this, and one Pentagon robot scientist told me that I was. He said, “There’s no real social, ethical, moral issues when it comes to robots. That is,” he added, “unless the machine kills the wrong people repeatedly. Then it’s just a product recall issue.” And so the ending point for this is that actually, we can turn to Hollywood. A few years ago, Hollywood gathered all the top characters and created a list of the top 100 heroes and top 100 villains of all of Hollywood history, the characters that represented the best and worst of humanity. Only one character made it onto both lists: The Terminator, a robot killing machine. And so that points to the fact that our machines can be used for both good and evil, but for me it points to the fact that there’s a duality of humans as well. This week is a celebration of our creativity. Our creativity has taken our species to the stars. Our creativity has created works of arts and literature to express our love. And now, we’re using our creativity in a certain direction, to build fantastic machines with incredible capabilities, maybe even one day an entirely new species. But one of the main reasons that we’re doing that is because of our drive to destroy each other, and so the question we all should ask: is it our machines, or is it us that’s wired for war? Thank you. (Applause)

100 Comments

  1. Kyle Sokolowski said:

    well then their say we dont need u then their blast u to bits

    May 19, 2011
    Reply
  2. Solea said:

    What is this crap? He doesn't define his terms, or explain the significance of the images he displays or the vague platitudes he spouts. All anyone could get from this is "new technology is being used in war, maybe that means something". No, really?

    May 22, 2011
    Reply
  3. David Espinosa said:

    The blood in the battlefield will soon be replaced by brake fluid… Since I like electronics, and electronic control systems, it'd be interesting to see a combat where the metal meets… well, the metal…

    June 18, 2011
    Reply
  4. JJO117 said:

    OH shit!!!!! Terminators

    June 19, 2011
    Reply
  5. YouWillDieOfHiccup said:

    lol now they use fucking remote control toys with guns attached to it , those look lame

    July 2, 2011
    Reply
  6. mibinwalo said:

    Gekko from MGS4…. Just Sayin'.

    July 8, 2011
    Reply
  7. MrKingstonAnderson said:

    10:15 I'll be a professional keyboard warrior FTW!

    but its sad that people are amused by "war porn" and desensitized enough to find it entertaining..

    July 28, 2011
    Reply
  8. Agrivated Killah said:

    war is a good thing[technologically, but horrible morally[unless in defense]

    September 10, 2011
    Reply
  9. Agrivated Killah said:

    @32ndegree One mans hero is the next mans devil.

    September 10, 2011
    Reply
  10. Thomas said:

    blah blah blah skynet blah blah blah

    September 13, 2011
    Reply
  11. Jerzy Ulicki-Rek said:

    Bloody hell!And to think that few years back I could find anyone to manufacture the remote controlled lawn mower:)
    Still don't..
    A lot of Jewish propaganda and warmongering wrapped in soft talk.Looks like they problem with cannon fodder for their wars.

    My message to this fellow:we don't need wars to start with.

    Jerzy Ulicki-Rek

    September 19, 2011
    Reply
  12. googleplus sucks said:

    fuck that shit! let´s build venus city!

    October 16, 2011
    Reply
  13. BreadFishy said:

    This dudes f***ing awesome

    October 31, 2011
    Reply
  14. 4Gottlos said:

    @crazyalloch What are you talking about dude…

    November 13, 2011
    Reply
  15. George Bailey said:

    Bobby!!! Stop playing MW3…The Pentagon is on the phone!!!

    December 19, 2011
    Reply
  16. George Bailey said:

    The future of war will be online with ps3.

    December 19, 2011
    Reply
  17. mike carey said:

    The Army's Robotics Rodeo is open to everyone! No cost! May 14 – 17 at Fort Benning, GA… The idea of Robots being used instead of humans really appeals to me. Especially Robots that can operate simply by an onboard computer program verses radio controlled Robots 🙂 Providing sniper fire, launching missles and grenades, clearing those Taliban caves and controlling "friendly" Afghan crowds is really appealing 🙂

    January 15, 2012
    Reply
  18. Otto Lund said:

    Thanks
    abeldanger(dot)net

    January 15, 2012
    Reply
  19. bigpurple100 said:

    the land of the brave but these guys are lost. more innovative ways to kill human beings and normally for money…but disguised as a some noble couse.
    the short sighted vision of our future by the peaple in the whithouse is worrying.

    whare does it all end?

    February 15, 2012
    Reply
  20. Martell Tha Cool said:

    Quite Scary they're using robots against humanity…

    February 17, 2012
    Reply
  21. DaBrainFarts said:

    the end of mankind will come from its creation.

    March 1, 2012
    Reply
  22. Dror Ben Ami said:

    it's us….people enjoy killing

    March 2, 2012
    Reply
  23. Peter W said:

    In a free society you can't and don't want to stop creation and ingenuity. What you want is that along with those processes there are also developed suitable ways of assessing and managing their roles and effects. I don't think we should be frightened of all these new things but simply be willing to take responsibility for their application and use. Claim your responsibility, rather than playing ostrich and wishing it would all go away. If you're not part of the process, someone else will be.

    March 12, 2012
    Reply
  24. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    war is poo

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  25. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    robots are gonna take over if the scientists dont stop mindgasming. p.s making somthing bigger or better then an atomic bomb isnt an achievment

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  26. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    ted is fucked , it's audience must be confused. Wikileaks was interviewed on here and now they are showing war revolution. pricks

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  27. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    what do you mean, they dont put humans at risk? What about the humans that will be killed by the robots. This guy is a twat

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  28. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    what the fuck is ptsd, why doen't the guy get booooooed off

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  29. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    oops moments, twaaaaaaaaaaaats, death doesnt compare to an oops moment

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  30. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    this guys insane

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  31. Munro Craig-Hallam said:

    i cant believe im listening to this

    March 29, 2012
    Reply
  32. thekomrade said:

    Zune… lol

    April 12, 2012
    Reply
  33. HaydenHatTrick said:

    I know its probably a horrid thing to say, but with all reasons for war put together, profit is probably the most humane. On that same note, anything worth fighting for, if you have to fight for it, well, its probably someone's profit to deny what ever it is. Just saying, I wouldn't make anything of it.

    April 20, 2012
    Reply
  34. HaydenHatTrick said:

    a very serious and educated talk. I completely agree with everything said, and to justify any point I have to make on this however, would need to be left for a long discussion. If I would need to have a long discussion just about a few points in this talk, this is something that desperately requires close attention before it can grow.

    April 21, 2012
    Reply
  35. vladnuke said:

    This is a better direction to take… for me. I'm training to be a mechanical engineer, so this is great news for me! I'm looking at this and thinking "Hmm, we're not there yet, but could we go there?" I love robotics, I participate in my schools robotics team, and I can only say one thing about it: it will always be manned. There always needs to be someone at the controls, and our nation of sugar-hyped CoD players is ready for the job. Hell, you can pilot one of these things with a xbox.

    May 2, 2012
    Reply
  36. vladnuke said:

    When you go to a robotics competition, you can always find something inherently wrong in every robot. One has a leaking pneumatics system, the other was coded by a three year old, and some just can't hook up with the field wi-fi because of router issues. Our robots will be plagued with such deficiencies. I'm imagining the world as a giant game of BattleBots. The problem is that they eventually found the perfect killing machine there, they'll find it here too. Eventually someone will find the

    May 2, 2012
    Reply
  37. vladnuke said:

    I'm imagining the world as a giant game of BattleBots, each nation looking for the best way to destroy the other. The problem is that they eventually found the perfect killing machine in BattleBots, they'll find it here too. Then all the nations of the world will copy that design, and then it becomes a matter of strategy. Until someone changes the game, that is.

    May 2, 2012
    Reply
  38. Teemmmar said:

    Well,I hope I can experience Deus Ex in my lifetime, with all those augmentations.

    May 2, 2012
    Reply
  39. tyrone williams said:

    And to think the same 2 top comments is from the same person

    May 2, 2012
    Reply
  40. Diarmuhnd said:

    Robotic Pacification Combat Systems have no emotions, no morality, they feel no remorse & will kill civilians with a simple program change & the flick of a botton. No longer will governments have to worry that orders to open fire on civilians will be disobeyed.
    This is the future of war, where the insane minority will have the power to kill billions.

    May 18, 2012
    Reply
  41. whysguy3 said:

    Robots are already killing killing civilians with the flick of a button. One of the world biggest problems right now might be that governments and the public don't believe that this is a serious enough issue to think about. Peter Singer hit the ball out of the park with this presentation. I just hope there people out there who will catch is and run with it.

    May 20, 2012
    Reply
  42. whysguy3 said:

    I don't think you get the point Mr. Singer was trying to make. Mr. Singer was trying to illustrate that some gov. officials think that by sending all this amazing technology around the world strapped for war, that this will scare the locals into submitting to our technological authority and game over U.S. wins again. But this is not what is happening.what I got out of this was that it is in fact harming the image of Americans.That America my not be the kind of knight in shining armor as had been

    May 20, 2012
    Reply
  43. Michael said:

    They don't get "72 virgins", more like "72 Virginians". Very angry Virginians.

    May 29, 2012
    Reply
  44. TheHaterOfUTube said:

    Not surprised there is a 10% dislike rate. Stupid conservatives. Keep hugging your bible and hating brown people.

    June 11, 2012
    Reply
  45. Stanley Green said:

    Not to be a sticker(which I am from stating the following), but to remind you of how quick technology progresses; this was over 4yrs ago. He did his research with the Bush administration. The weapons you see in this video are a far cry of some of the weaponry being used in remote regions under remote circumstances.

    June 17, 2012
    Reply
  46. LeeVing88 said:

    thanks robin williams

    June 24, 2012
    Reply
  47. crossfirex777 said:

    How can we claim that we've reached the stars, when we haven't reached the second closest star to us after the sun?

    July 9, 2012
    Reply
  48. FaiR said:

    Problem is, our technology develops in the wrong direction. We develop technology to kill other humans, when we could be exploring the universe (yet we have not even explored our oceans yet).

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  49. Haitch Ee said:

    I've created a documentary on how robots and other technological devices have potential to destroy most of the humans. Please watch the documentary through my channel or through this link:

    /watch?v=CFwdXfLGqMs

    The documentary focuses around technological development, WMDs, computers and humans. Please leave feedback. I'm certain that you'll find the documentary interesting.

    July 14, 2012
    Reply
  50. Saint Augustine said:

    Black Ops 2 brought me here, lol

    August 12, 2012
    Reply
  51. LeafVillItachi said:

    1:09, an xbox controller?

    September 6, 2012
    Reply
  52. Jesse Haffner said:

    I don't believe that ther really is such a thing as a just war, that being said prior to the invention of the nuclear bomb it seems as tho the wars the US was involved in were slightly more just than the ones since. An the times we should hav maybe gone to war we didn't even giv a second thot, Clinton said his biggest mistake was not goin into Darfur an Rwanda, Obama's is going to be Syria. i understand we r sick of war but, yet we still are drone bombing Pakistan an Yemen. its interesting

    October 29, 2012
    Reply
  53. tehDevious said:

    Yeah they use them as soldiers are more familiar with them.

    November 23, 2012
    Reply
  54. LeafVillItachi said:

    I can perfectly see why 🙂

    November 24, 2012
    Reply
  55. chimemonster said:

    poor chap , he had the thankless job of talking about straight facts to a queasy intelligentsia.

    December 11, 2012
    Reply
  56. Nakuyomaru said:

    How many people in this room.. still use 'wang' computers.
    (No hands show)
    Its- the same thing..

    llolololo

    December 11, 2012
    Reply
  57. Amar Mirza said:

    We spend more on our military than most of the rest of the world combined… I think we will be fine.

    January 30, 2013
    Reply
  58. Osama Obama said:

    Today there's footage of Tesla-weapons in use in afghanistan, autonom drones guarding for the israelis…. theres nothing next.

    February 14, 2013
    Reply
  59. Dylan DeAngelis said:

    4 years old…

    February 16, 2013
    Reply
  60. Nam Hoang Nguyen said:

    My presentation on drones was completely based on this, and I got an A+ on it. Thank you 🙂

    February 17, 2013
    Reply
  61. Alison White said:

    "No ethical problem with robots unless they start killing the wrong people repeatedly – then it's just a product recall" Yeah right – should we have confidence in the warmongers!?

    February 18, 2013
    Reply
  62. CIPHERJAY said:

    Just have an online war…No need to have physical drones in a country to kill people. Eliminate people from dying by having an online war…

    February 23, 2013
    Reply
  63. Gus Schwartz said:

    @CIPHERJAY i hope to God you know how stupid that sounds

    March 19, 2013
    Reply
  64. Zack Martin said:

    Almost four now..

    March 20, 2013
    Reply
  65. PyrrhosOfEpeiros said:

    I suggest everyone read his book, "Wired for War".

    April 2, 2013
    Reply
  66. Eric Lieber said:

    I like the information but I really fear the (killing machine)robotic arms race.

    May 16, 2013
    Reply
  67. Alien Machine said:

    Why do we even need war?

    May 16, 2013
    Reply
  68. DragonAquarius said:

    We don't need to be better at morality. We just need to keep building better war robots.

    July 5, 2013
    Reply
  69. QuickFireGaming said:

    Purely from a biologist's point of view when there is a lack of resources there is increased competition for resources. In human terms there are too many people on the planet and not enough space, energy and food to make them all happy then nations go to war. Personally I believe that if all the world's scientists and engineers got together with unlimited funds for one year then we could solve all world problems for a time and there would be no need for war, but that's never going to happen.

    July 22, 2013
    Reply
  70. Alien Machine said:

    I totally agree. There will be people who crave "power" and those are nothing but Narcissists who want everything for themselves. We need to cure that illness first out of millions of humans and make us more civil and just minded. Then whatever you said will happen. It's because we don't think ourselves as a civilization, but archaic divisions like sex, color, religion etc. Science should be our new religion and it should lead us to the universal truth.

    July 22, 2013
    Reply
  71. QuickFireGaming said:

    Likewise I agree with you on all of your points except for the last one. We do not have the right to tell people what they should and shouldn't believe and we can’t prove that God or Gods do not exist. In addition science and religion is entirely compatible. I know many scientists who are religious. I just wish that people stopped making stupid arguments for or against religion. They are so annoying and are just one of the many things that divide us.

    July 23, 2013
    Reply
  72. Alien Machine said:

    I meant in the metaphorical way as religion which everyone follows, not referring to any actual religion. And yes, everyone has their own right to believe or not believe in something. But some religious people think Science is a danger rather than advancement for human beings. For example, cloning of humans is a crime against God(especially with the Christian faith). But France has moved towards this recently. Lets hope that science unite us than divide us.

    July 24, 2013
    Reply
  73. QuickFireGaming said:

    We can only hope…

    July 24, 2013
    Reply
  74. Tari1778 said:

    If progress is more effective killing i think it's very good to talk about it. But also to see things from a diffrent perspective, like your "enemy".

    August 7, 2013
    Reply
  75. MessageOfTheKingdom2 said:

    You are looking at the birth of the "worst time of trouble" that Yahshua and the prophets spoke about. You will need protection from Yahweh to make it through the Great Tribulation. There will be no rapture. Our obedience to Yahweh's Laws as taught by His House, The House of Yahweh will be our only protection. These last days will be like the days of Noah where only one man stood for the laws of Yahweh.

    August 8, 2013
    Reply
  76. Rossome4040 said:

    Robots need to be commanded, therefore, there is a person who is always responsible. If a robot is used as a weapon a person is guilty of programming it to murder, unless it is accidental death.

    August 9, 2013
    Reply
  77. Tony Leon said:

    Even worse is that soon you are going to be a victim of it also.

    August 9, 2013
    Reply
  78. Tony Leon said:

    "It's just a goat"

    August 9, 2013
    Reply
  79. Tony Leon said:

    You need to read the Bible again. Especially Matthew.

    August 9, 2013
    Reply
  80. Tiny777 said:

    Tired of smart dumbasses such as this one thinking that this is simply the next "evolutionary" step.

    Robots will be a tool the exclude humanity who will take a back seat.

    Ultimately leading to our total enslavement.

    Like Elysium.

    There are no real terrorists.

    A robot is a tool, nothing else, but its a very powerful tool and considering the current evil powerstructure here on planet earth, this could end very bad for humanity.

    August 9, 2013
    Reply
  81. Bhatt said:

    many of the commercial casino websites will credit you chips with no deposit needed to help you start, i turned 40 into 230 this month this link shows you exactly how PLAY83.COM

    The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.

    September 24, 2013
    Reply
  82. Counter Tyranny Ops said:

    Pro police state propaganda. Enjoy the Orwellian state…

    October 29, 2013
    Reply
  83. Counter Tyranny Ops said:

    You won't think so when they are killing you and your family along will everyone else. The big bankers are exempt of course.

    November 6, 2013
    Reply
  84. Tiny777 said:

    mmm they really want to hammer it into our minds….

    God bless

    November 6, 2013
    Reply
  85. Solokeh Krontos said:

    You know there's a problem when someone says: "But we can turn to Hollywood."

    November 26, 2013
    Reply
  86. papablues050164 said:

    It worries me more that there seems to be this moral detachment in the use of these drones. The drone itself has no consciousness of its actions, nevertheless it's easy for a politician to order the death of a dozen people he doesn't have to look. A better question is how could these drones be used in humanitarian purposes, for the spread of humanitarian relief in times of disaster. Why aren't our leaders applying this technology to helping people instead of killing them? 

    December 24, 2013
    Reply
  87. Bart Gatsby said:

    Did he mention Microsoft's Zune? XD

    January 7, 2014
    Reply
  88. Matt P said:

    idiot

    January 11, 2014
    Reply
  89. RelatedGiraffe said:

    I think it's amazing how this guy can stand there and speak as if there were good guys and bad guys, like American lives are the only lives that are worth anything, and like U.S has to keep the lead in military technology in order to be able to suppress these "bad guys". Who cares about if the U.S. stays in the top? For the rest of the world, it is the U.S. that are the bad guys, trying to police the rest of the world, at the same time imprinting in everyone's mind how good they are saving us from these bad guys through media. Fuck this shit, I'm tired of it. I really hope the American military industry, the large banks, together with the rest of all the powerful controlling forces in the world would just crash and burn so that everyone else could live in peace and not have to worry about this shit. At least the speaker asked the right question in the end of the video.

    February 21, 2014
    Reply
  90. Sassafrasican said:

    6:00 i think it perpetuates the myth that terrorists simply hate the west for its "freedoms" when one throws around terms like "72 virgins". i'm pretty sure this was not a motivational factor for the suicide-bombing chechnyan widows or the women from the western 'provinces' which china occupies. using drones to further industrialise america's terror on the world will not stop terrorism; quite the contrary. fix your foreign policy first. 

    February 22, 2014
    Reply
  91. Nacho Lopez said:

    Amazing!

    March 16, 2014
    Reply
  92. Александр Круглов said:

    this guy added Russia in a list of countries  like Pakistanan Iran??!?! wtf? and I bet he is such a pus•• to get in a fight but maniac enough to start kill people distantly like he said about distant shooters. Dear Mr Singer^ please take your boyscout's patriotic phobias  away and stop spreading the idea of military innovations because the better it gets the worse it ends. (a moment in a history that should teach u a lesson – Cuban missile crisis )

    December 12, 2014
    Reply
  93. Mr Clarkson said:

    The USA is 50% of global defense spending,so the US domination in Drone tech is here to stay…:)

    February 11, 2016
    Reply
  94. BiGaRi0uS said:

    I believe that we shouldn't use unmanned drones to kill our enemies. We should always have the human controller manning it if it can kill. The only unmanned robots that should be allowed are those that merely assist soldiers without directly assisting them in killing, such as those dog carrier robots they use to carry stuff.

    April 12, 2016
    Reply
  95. Young Padawan said:

    This is crazy

    October 8, 2016
    Reply
  96. lastmanxa said:

    i thought TED is a portal to share knowledge and not to allow some moron to insult Muslims ..
    and by the way if you think robots and drowns can save live then be worn that the same can be used to take lives too

    November 10, 2016
    Reply
  97. Cat said:

    I'm on the fence about military robots. On one hand, it can remove the costs of war, but on the other hand, it would consequently make us do it more.

    November 22, 2016
    Reply
  98. CdyDgyRny Yarbrough said:

    Ok, 13:35 is where I draw the line. He shows a soldier with artificial legs and puts up the quote, "We can rebuild him, We have the technology." that right there is just disrespectful. He lost his limbs fighting for us, we owe it that him to give him the chance to walk again.

    April 21, 2017
    Reply
  99. The Fabsisters said:

    nice but try this one

    May 7, 2018
    Reply
  100. UnNainConnu said:

    The subtitles are out of sync 🙁

    September 30, 2018
    Reply

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