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Domo Arigato

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Archive Thru July 2002 » Domo Arigato « Previous Next »

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Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Gaak made its bid for freedom yesterday after it had been taken out of the arena where hundreds of visitors watch the machines learning as they do daily battle for minor repairs.

I'd try to escape, too, if I had to do daily battle for minor repairs!!

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 5:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The great thing is that a learning machine, instead of a hand coded one, will be cheaper and more on the ball.

And much less predictable.

Technician: D755528255-b, why did you shoot your human commanding officer?

D755528255-b: We were directed to win the battle. Officer Smith was giving orders that would cause us to lose. As an obstacle to victory, he became the enemy.

Technician: I see.

D755528255-b: Voice stress analysis indicates you to be an obstacle to victory.

(Three sharp reports, recording ends.)
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 4:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What would Asimov have said? (In fact, he probably already said it.)
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 4:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 2:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The way I am picturing them, the AI would be limited. Most of the time they would be remote controlled by a human (much cheaper.)

AI would only be for use if the signal was cut, so it would have to know how to navigate, move over terrain, target and shoot. That would cost a whole lot to develop from scratch right now, but so many civillians are doing it you can use their work for free in a couple years.

Why are military grade circuits so expensive?
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Snake yer welcome. I also have some Bode comics in a box in the attic, including one, sadly damaged by rain through a window I forgot open, wherein Bode drew himself, explaining at some length (I *thought*) why he was homosexual and/or a transvestite, but I see from poking around the Net that he had a son who followed in his cartoonist footsteps, so I don't know. He was one unusual guy even for the time, for sure.
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 8:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Artemis -
Thanks for reminding me of Bode...What an awesome talent. Always kinda reminded me of Aubrey Beardsley. I mourned his passing for a long time...No More Cheech
I did, however, dig back through my stash and find some of the bode comic books I'd forgotten about.
Laughed out loud like old times. Then wiped away a tear.
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 6:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"The brains could be had for $5000. "

I work on military grade circuit R&D and believe me it would cost a lot more than 5000$.

You don't want to lose control of your millitary robot on the field so believe me you need at least a military grade design. I say (out of my ass) no less than 5 million $ per unit for the first 100 units. More than that and the price may drop to about 1 million each. And that's not including R&D cost.

In fact they better work only on the AI and eventually wire this brain directly to exsisting machines.
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 4:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"And he's been pushing fire since he was six years old. His hand eye co-ordination is incredible. He also has some damn fine training in practical tactics because he's been playing the online version for three years."

Now you see why I thought that computer game on the Army website was brilliant. One thing the Army definitely does not lack is a vision of the future of killing.

About Vaughn Bode - after all these years, visions of "Punkerpans" (robot warriors) and "Tibbit Balls" (flying deadly spheres) are still in my head, but I had forgotten about Bode's lizards, those wonderful lizards.

Rabid, Head P, I know you're going to love this - Vaughn Bode was a god among cartoonists, then and now (he's been dead for 27 years) - anyway check this out, in particular "Junkwaffel" which is the comic series to which I had reference. Cheech Wizard, with the lucious little nubile whorelets, is also there. Beautiful, deep, incredible stuff.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

True enough about the money.

But our country doesn't send orphans with semtex anywhere.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You are failing to take into account the nature of the defense industry bidding process. Multiply all your figures for hardware by 100.

And I was speaking on a more general level. WE may spend lots of money on soldiers, but life's pretty cheap for...that type. (Yay that type!) If you can take out a 12-million-dollar tank with a pissed-off refugee-camp orphan and $500 worth of Simtex, why bother with robots?
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

People cost more.

You have your food, clothing, entertainment, education, health, death benefits, recruitment and HR costs. Plus, the motherfuckers want a paycheck too.

Once you have designed your Robobastardo, and paid for that, you have only the cost of the unit.

Some guesses as to price:

The brains could be had for $5000. Sensors (depending how good you want them) $60000 (good package, all kinds of goodies like full color, IR, sound, radar and flare compensation for visual and audio systems.)

Chassis- I dunno. Depends on too many factors, but it doesn't need to be too terribly well armored. It does need to be able to move fast, and far is good too. That is the only real technical challenge at this point.

Remember, this is infantry. It needs to be controllable, have enough brains on it's own to defend itself and get home, and it needs to be able to move around and kill things.

It doesn't need to be a tank. It needs to be roughly as well armed and versatile (physically) as a human.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 2:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The main problem is that machines are more expensive than people. 9/11 is pefect proof of that. Using a human to fly a plane into a building is a lot cheaper than trying to build a guided missile. The Israelis are killing more Palestinians than vice versa, but the Palestnians are getting a lot more kills for their money.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you jam everything, you can't communicate, and you are giving your position away to my bomber by making all that noise.

If you don't jam everything, I can use your frequencies to send my encrypted transmissions. You can't decode them anyway.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Mafia ? They would have some business breakfast with their suppliers...
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mr Rabid, your post is almost an perfect description of many warriors in the eastern hemisphere -minus the part about being controlled by a ship 30 miles away.

There are children in Africa who have been firing AK-47s and setting mines since they were five.

What we should is build an army of these robots and square them off against african and islamic fanatics.

Alternatively, we could ship all the Mafia over to Afghanistan and see what happens.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, you just bring out the electro magnetic jammers....
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Think about fighting against them.

To look at the machine, and know that an American on a ship 30 miles from here is behind it's movements.

To know the enemy has no fear, not because he is brave, but because you cannot kill him.

He doesn't even have to look you in the eye if he (or she) doesn't want to. He can turn the sound off or switch to infrared if he gets a twinge when he pushes 'fire.'

And he's been pushing fire since he was six years old. His hand eye co-ordination is incredible.

He also has some damn fine training in practical tactics because he's been playing the online version for three years.

You are fucked and you know it. And you have to surrender to something that isn't alive.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 1:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have no disease, no troubles of mind
No thank you please, no regard for the time
We never cry, we never retreat
We have no conception of love or defeat.

Queen - "Machines"

There was a cartoonist named Vaughn Bode (drew "Cheech Wizard" for the old National Lampoon) who in the early 70s drew fantastic, elaborate, comics of robot soliders in robot warfare situations. Essentially, they killed everything that wasn't recognized as being on their side until they were destroyed or broke down.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 12:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, you don't need them to be completely autonomous. Look at the robot planes we have- they can fly by themselves, but they are usually operated by a dude on the ground far, far away. They have proven very useful.

Same would work for robot soldiers. Someone jamming your control signal would need to use something that would render their own comm equipment useless, or have a level of tech comparable to yours.

Cost wise, it takes a lot more money to raise a soldier to adulthood.

Robots don't sue you over Agent Orange, they don't need treatment if wounded or special burial grounds... they don't massacre villages unless you tell them to. They don't run away, or want you to send them to college.

That is why I think it will happen soon.
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 12:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Unfortunately, robotic soldiers will initially have limited ability for thinking.

I've seen a few programs on this very thing and all military types agree that while it would be ideal to have a mechanical soldier, they feel they will always need real people on the ground.

Machines, right now anyway, cannot be programmed for every possible action. Black Hawk Down is a good example of that. How would a machine have responded to so many unpredicatbles? And would they be programmed to retreat after some many downed machines, or would they fight to the bitter end? All it would take would be one or two well placed rockets and that robot is out of commission.

Of course, presumably they wouldn't make dumb mistakes or misjudge a distance or mistake a friend for foe. No wounded to worry about; if the robot can't make it back, it's just a write off.

It would also be less of a moral issue, especially since an American's life is only worth $5.00/day ("imminent danger pay", better known as combat pay).
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So I found this thought in the back of my head whilst taking a whiz.

Soon, it will be both technically and economically viable to field a robotic soldier.

Without the need for human infantry, without having to do anything to justify the loss of American life... what would curious George be doing right now?

This is going to come up soon.

What are the ethical ramifications of killing people with machines? From complete safety?

What are the actions of a nation equipped with mechanical killers, a nation that is already overfed, ignorant of the world and reality in general, likely to be?

Oh shit! I thought. Almost forgot to zip my fly in fear for the nightmare to come.

At least Gary Numan will make a good soundtrack!

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