Flying killer robots was once a nightmarish sci-fi fantasy—one thing that solely existed in James Cameron motion pictures or Michael Crichton novels. Nowadays, not so much. Not solely is drone warfare near two decades old, however improvements to this deadly know-how are being developed on a regular basis.
Working example: New Scientist journal not too long ago unearthed a contract between the U.S. Air Power and a bit of identified protection agency that exhibits the federal government is utilizing reconnaissance and surveillance drones outfitted with facial recognition to help in particular operations missions. Whereas the journal notes that these smaller drones aren’t usually armed (not like, say, their huge siblings, the Predator and the Reaper), they clearly current dizzying new prospects for America’s most shadowy and lethal cadres. The Air Power’s supplier is a Seattle-based agency, RealNetworks, which sells a platform dubbed Safe Correct Facial Recognition, or SAFR. The federal government paid $729,056 for SAFR, which might be deployed “on an autonomous sUAS for particular ops, ISR, and different expeditionary use-cases,” in response to the contract. Whereas not a ton is thought about how the U.S. is utilizing this know-how or how lengthy it’s been utilizing it, one factor is definite: it’s creeping individuals out.
“Huge large NOPE to every part right here,” tweeted Jake Wiener, a lawyer with the digital privateness group EPIC, in response to the information.
One other critic, Nicholas Davis, of the College of Know-how Sydney, told Newsweek: “There are innumerable moral implications, from the way in which such gadgets would possibly redistribute energy or threaten teams inside a society, to the methods through which they threaten established worldwide humanitarian legislation in battle zones.”
Skeptics have dutifully famous the horrifying nature of this specific integration. Given the truth that particular operations items are most well-known for his or her clandestine and deadly actions (learn: assassinations and raids), the deployment of an AI-powered airborne robotic affixed with face recording tech means America’s goon squads now have a robust new software to hold out their darkish deeds. Motherboard notes that such drones might simply be used for “intelligence and goal acquisition,” that means that anyone being trailed by these little contraptions might be in deep shit.
The scariest factor about this improvement, frankly, is that it’s clearly solely the start of the race to make drones sooner, smarter, extra subtle and, doubtlessly, extra deadly. From the Navy’s deliberate drone swarm warfare to the surge in drone use within the Russo-Ukrainian battle, to the specter of flying robots that would come equipped with chemical or organic payloads, prepare on your worst sci-fi nightmares to come back true.