Re: [SL4] Re: Abandon Ship

From: Marc Forrester (
Date: Mon Feb 14 2000 - 14:57:30 MST

From: Marc Forrester <>

> My understanding of the reason the military in the US put so much money in
> AI research decades ago was not for the purposes of developing smarter
> weapons or meaner soldiers, but rather for the purpose of creating
> intelligence analysis agents. 'Intelligence' in this sense meaning spy
> stuff, satellite photes, etc.

Fair point. It may well be that all military AI research has simple,
single-function goals designed to augment the abilities of a human
decision maker at the controls. Certainly, that would be easier to
sell to the senate than a fully autonomous Skynet system.

OTOH, unmanned recon and combat aircraft are a hot topic at the moment,
teleoperated forward-observer drones and Aliens style sentry guns are
available for US ground operations right now, and there are certainly
AI brains sitting in all kinds of combat vehicles and missiles in the
military training simulation networks.

Assuming strong AI is possible, (And there's a pound of the stuff
sitting in my head right now AFAIK) militaries do seem to be heading
in the right direction to develop it. The question is, will they get
there first, (Possibly, they have the supercomputers.) and will it be
a disaster if they do? (Probably not. An AI smart enough to trigger
Singularity would not be driven by the sort of motives that make the
human military mind so bloody dangerous.)

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