Future Warfare…Automated Planes and Bullets that Change Course
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
X-47-B (photo: Chad Slattery, Northrop Grumman
It may not be long before human control, and accountability, of warfare and its destructive outcomes are entirely ambiguous.
Military planners are already testing the newest model in unmanned aircrafts, the X-47B. Unlike other drones that require a pilot to remotely control it, the X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, can fly using only its onboard computers that guide the plane to its targets.
The idea of armed aircraft operating without direct human control is unsettling to some experts. “Lethal actions should have a clear chain of accountability,” Noel Sharkey, a computer scientist and robotics expert, told the Los Angeles Times. “This is difficult with a robot weapon. The robot cannot be held accountable. So is it the commander who used it? The politician who authorized it? The military’s acquisition process? The manufacturer, for faulty equipment?”
Reducing human control over military weaponry may even reach the level of bullets. Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, one of the U.S. government’s leading research facilities, have developed a prototype for a self-guided bullet that relies on laser beams to hit its target. The four-inch long bullet can be fired from “small-caliber, smooth-bore firearms” and travel distances of more than a mile. Sandia, although owned by the U.S. government, is operated and managed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin,
Yo Learn More:
New Drone Has No Pilot Anywhere, So Who's Accountable? (by W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times)
Sandia’s Self-Guided Bullet Prototype Can Hit Target A Mile Away (Sandia National Laboratories)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- U.S. Security Company Seeks Dismissal of Abu Ghraib Torture Charges because Victims were not Allowed to Leave Iraq
- 5 Biggest Banks Gain another Victory in Control of $700 Trillion Derivatives Market
- Is Living in the United States Bad for Your Health?
- Is FBI Running out of Time to Solve Civil Rights Era Cold Cases?
- Alabama City Told Traffic Camera Violators to Appeal to Non-Existent Court