In the 21st Century There Will Be a New Endangered Species … Man.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates titled his recent article in Scientific American on robotics “A Robot in Every Home,” but a better title might have been “A Robot on Every Battlefield.”
In June, the U.S. Army sent the the first armed ground robots into action in Iraq. Dubbed “special weapons observation remote reconnaissance direct action system” (SWORDS), the robots are armed with M249 machine guns–though they haven’t yet had cause to use them. The ‘bots “haven’t fired their weapons yet,” Michael Zecca, the SWORDS program manager, told Wired. “But that’ll be happening soon.”
So much for Isaac Asimov’s First Law of Robotics: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”