The Real Robot Uprising Begins, Then Ends

| 18 Sep 2009 17:47
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The US military put down a rogue robot last week when a deadly unmanned aerial vehicle went out of control, forcing the Air Force to shoot it down.

The world had a close call with the inevitable robot uprising last Sunday. Things were going smoothly on a combat mission in Afghanistan when an American Reaper MQ-9 - an autonomously controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (yes, a UAV just like in Call of Duty 4) capable of destroying tanks and buildings - suddenly went out of control.

"The aircraft was flying a combat mission when positive control of the MQ-9 was lost," USAFCENT Public Affairs reported. "When the aircraft remained on a course that would depart Afghanistan's airspace, a US Air Force manned aircraft took proactive measures to down the Reaper in a remote area of northern Afghanistan."

The Reaper was taken down and crashed into the side of a mountain. Nobody was injured.

A simple malfunction, perhaps, or possibly evidence of something more sinister? Details are scarce, though it seems like the Reaper was controlling itself and wasn't being piloted remotely when it started to veer off course. In any case, that's one fewer Reaper for the Air Force (they only have 27 now) and some $10.5 million down the drain. That's quite a bit of money to lose, but no price is too high when it comes to staving off the cyber-apocalypse.

[Via The Register]

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I wouldn't say its $10 million down the drain. This one plane malfunctioning will provide information to prevent the other 27. As well as information for the future.

tehbeard:
It will be back.

and in greater numbers

I hope they remembered to clean up the mess, otherwise it's just going to rebuild itself to be bigger, faster and stronger too.

Greyfox105:
Damn, I knew I should of waited before telling it to move away... I really should hire better robo-minions.
That's it, I'm firing that Reaper. oh. too late...

Your robot failed to deliver my peanut butter. . . so i am not paying you. Mission FAILED!

Anyway. . . . why was this amde public? Shouldnt they hide malfunctions like these? Especially the 10mil ones.....also now there 27 more of these reapers that we should watch out for. Pfft make better robots!

Damn, stupid pilot took my kill.
Anyway, I'm coming for you, skynet!

Eep. That's pretty terrifying...although I gotta say I saw this coming from a mile away when they first announced them. Seriously, WHO didn't think that this was a possibility?!

......so, if i log 100 hours in Ace Combat, can i fly one of these babies?

Thats actually kind of scary. Hopefully just a bug, but you never know.

I'm a little confused. Was it flying itself intelligently? Or did they just lose control of it, causing it to keep flying in one direction?

Yknow when you're on Google Earth, and you're looking at your area, and you type something like "Subway, Main St.", and for some reason it zips 200 miles away?

I'm willing to bet whatever went wrong was kinda like that.

Seriously, though, anyone who thinks that Artificial Intelligence poses any threat--that any kind of 'robot uprising' will actually occur--would do well to read either Raymond Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near" or J. Storrs Hall's "Beyond AI". It's pretty a pretty ludicrously widespread idea, and we have dumb sci-fi (ie, fiction; ie, needs there to be conflict) to thank.

Joshimodo:
Daaaisy, Daaisy....

"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."
Skynet would suck, 'cause of the whole nuclear annihilation bit, but HAL?
That would be...
Amazing....

"Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?"

I would also like to take a moment to say that this is one of the biggest problems I have with the idea of phasing out manned combat aircraft.

The signal for a UAV can be jammed or hijacked (which is a possibility here - not proven, but possible). If someone hijacks your UAVs signal, you just lost your aircraft, and they now have another weapon. If someone jams the signal, you've still lost your aircraft, and now it will likely either crash, or simply fly off into oblivion and then crash.

Manned combat aircraft should be a main-stay, and UAV/UCAVs should be a supplement.

Skynet has become self-aware.

Sounds like it was just flying around aimlessly, so some part that receives coms was either broken or blocked and they had to blow it up to avoid violating someone else's airspace. What we really should be worrying about is terrorists intercepting and hacking the communications to it, and telling it to blow up our side, that would be bad.

As long as we don't apply logic and reasoning to their hard drives, we'll be fine. Cause without compassion, robot's will find some logic in killing us. Then again, that goes against my belief that everything is based on egoism, and our social activities are only based on our own egoistic intention to raise our status among people. And robot's are already perfect by their own merits, and thus do not demand anything from us. So we'll be useless.

CuddlyCombine:

CUnk:
Sure, you say that but someone should plot its planned course and see what it intersects. Guaranteed it was the master uplink that controls all the other UAV's in that region.

Reapers don't have the processing power to do anything more than follow commands and maintain the link to the controller. For one to, for example, assess a "threat" and move to exterminate it on its own, is impossible (at least currently). The planned course was probably just a continuation of the existing flight path, if there wasn't a failsafe fallback command in there somewhere (which I assume there wasn't, given that it had to be shot down).

Then again, there seems like there's more to this story. Maybe it was a prototype HK?

I wasn't really suggesting that a UAV was preparing to attack a central uplink in order to free its brethren. But based on some of the other responses in this thread I suppose I can understand why you thought I was serious.

xmetatr0nx:
Well if it was just being used for Air-recon it probably didnt have any weapons on it, so the only real danger would have been it crash landing on something. Either way, the Airforce had to take care of it ASAP they really dont need another bad PR move.

Reapers are generally armed for combat, if I remember correctly. Either way, this can't be a good thing.

No no NO! Robot revolution bad! Zombies much better! Much safer! Robots no die of bullets! (Also no Robot Apocalypse Survival Guide.) Throw your wrenches into the gears of progress and RUN!!!

Rise of the robots fall of man.

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