Random thoughts of interest (to me at any rate). Wireless, post-humanism, cyberspace, virtual reality, virtual worlds, Second Life, the connected home, transhumanism, AI, SF, space, anime, manga, mountains, wilderness, work, family et al
"Autonomous armed robotic systems probably will be operating by 2020, according to John Pike, an expert on defense and intelligence matters and the director of the security Web site GlobalSecurity.org in Washington."
This prospect alarms experts, who fear that machines will be unable to distinguish between legitimate targets and civilians in a war zone.
"We are sleepwalking into a brave new world where robots decide who, where and when to kill," said Noel Sharkey, an expert on robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Sheffield, England.
Human operators thousands of miles away in Nevada, using satellite communications, control the current generation of missile-firing robotic aircraft, known as Predators and Reapers. Armed ground robots, such as the Army's Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, also require a human decision-maker before they shoot.
As of now, about 5,000 lethal and nonlethal robots are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Besides targeting Taliban and al Qaida leaders, they perform surveillance, disarm roadside bombs, ferry supplies and carry out other military tasks. So far, none of these machines is autonomous; all are under human control."
Neat little open source micro-controller for robotics and electronic arts projects. Keep wondering how you could hook Halo up to some external robotic device so as to give her a presence in the atom world in the same way that our avatars give us a presence in the digital world. What would you call such a thing? Is it still an avatar?
Travelling back from London yesterday writing my Birmingham Post column on the Nabaztag wifi bunny my resolve finally snapped. 30 minutes after arriving at new St I was in Selfridges buying a Nabaztag. (That in itself was an interesting use of the web - I used the browser on my phone to search Nabatag and Birmingham, and discovered that Selfridges are the only bricks & mortar stockists in the country!)
The Nabaztag, christened Flexx by Ruth, performed flawlessly, finding the WiFi network and taking its first set of commands. Even better I then found that it already has a REST based API, and by just after midnight I had it reading the BBC TV schedule via the new Backstage BBC TV API. isn't the web wonderful.
Nabaztag is the N a b a z t a g > Home >first smart rabbit, which sits on the end of a wifi connection and tells you what is going on in the world. First reports are that its not as brilliant as it could be, but the hacks have already started to appear. Would be great to have one to play with, but £80 is just over my "dispoable" limit.