Will technology ever replace the common soldier?




 
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June 7th, 2006  
WarMachine
 
 

Topic: Will technology ever replace the common soldier?


I was thinking of what aerial drones like the Predator might evolve into someday given enough investment, entire squadrons of combat aircraft guided by computers and AI. Would this technology ever be applied to other fields like army and naval units. If so, will it result in the replacement of the human soldier with machines in future wars? You know, like the terminator.

I suppose the most logical reason for this potential development would be that it saves lives (the lives of the ones who have robots anyway).
June 7th, 2006  
sven hassell
 
 
When you see how incredibly complex the human body/brain is its hard to imagine how long it will take before technology can replace it.
Maybe in a couple of thousand years.
June 7th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
It won't happen in my lifetime.
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June 7th, 2006  
sunb!
 
 
Personally I do think we will see more technical advanced equipment issued on squad level as a start. Video cameras, navigating systems and GPS equipment for monitoring soldiers on the battle field is already present so where we will go from here is only limited by our own imagnination.

It has been done research on equipping drones with weapons however the ethical questions are bigger than the technical ones. By this I mean who to issue the orders for attack? How to seperate friend from enemy, etc. The AI needed is one gigantic technological step ahead.
June 7th, 2006  
rotc boy
 
 
Quote:
How to seperate friend from enemy

I was actually reading Popular Mechanics a couple months ago, and there was an article about some technology to distinguish friendly from foe...
June 7th, 2006  
sunb!
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotc boy
I was actually reading Popular Mechanics a couple months ago, and there was an article about some technology to distinguish friendly from foe...
Interesting, I watched a programme on Discovery for a few months ago on drones used in Iraq and Kosovo, the program ended with the question above so hopefully DC follow up with a new program this fall...
June 7th, 2006  
moving0target
 
 
Eventually? Probably. I doubt it will be in the next few lifetimes, though. Even if the technology were present, there would be some huge ethical issues about giving a machine the "choice" to drop the hammer or not. Automated systems have human backups, and I don't think that will change.

If nothing else, issue will arise (as with cloning) from misconceptions people have gotten from movies.
June 7th, 2006  
WarMachine
 
 
I can't find the article i was reading about AI, but it's a very rapidly advancing field. They're getting better at it and might reach levels of animal reasoning soon, i think it's going to be as advanced as an insect's soon. That may seem underwhelming but then the development grows exponentially from there, it's estimated that scientists can develop a human level of intelligence capability by 2020-2030.

That coupled with increasing advances in robotic articulation could build you a realistic android. The military is always at the forefront of these high tech fields, so who nows what the applications might be. Nobody saw MIRVed ICBMs coming when the nuclear bomb was created.
June 8th, 2006  
Senior Chief
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sven hassell
When you see how incredibly complex the human body/brain is its hard to imagine how long it will take before technology can replace it.
Maybe in a couple of thousand years.
I write code for industrial computers. There was one stretch of time I had nothing going on. I started programming the human hand. I stopped writing when I hit 900 rungs of logic and still hadn't touched any type of programming that would consider the sensory aspect of the hand, feeling heat, cold administering the proper pressure to pick up an egg or a 10 pount sledgehammer.

As someone said, the human will not be replaced anytime in the next few lifetimes.
June 8th, 2006  
AussieNick
 
Simple answer is no.
No matter how good technology may be, at the end of the day you still need good old infantry to seize and hold ground.
 


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