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Super Soldier Robot Act

Responses to Joy's "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us"


Promise and Peril. By Ray Kurzweil. First published in ZDNet Inter@ctive Week. (October 23, 2000), now available from the author.

"Hope Is a Lousy Defense." By Spencer Reiss. Wired Magazine (December 2003; Issue 11.12). Joy follows up on his landmark article.

adobe acrobat icon "A Response to Bill Joy and the Doom-and-Gloom Technofuturists." By John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid. Printed in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Yearbook, 2001.

"15th Anniversary: Why the Future Still Needs Us a While Longer." A brief update by Lucas Graves on Joy's predictions.


Background: Myth or Reality


Army Dreams: Super-Strong, Laser-Proof, Genius G.I.s. A article on super soldiers. (Includes a link to a 20 page PDF called 'Future Soldier 2030 Initiative' that offers a mind-bending exploration of human-machine interaction and inter-dependency.)

Campaign asks for international treaty to limit war robots. A New Scientist article on efforts to control the use of robots in warfare.

Israeli Robots Remake Battlefield. A Wall Street Journal article on advances in robotic fighting machines.

More Robot Grunts Ready for Duty. A article on robots in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Robots Go to War. A Popular Science article on the development of war robots.

The (really scary) soldier of the future. A article on nanotechnology and the military.

Robots May Fight for the Army. A article on military robots.

Uber Soldiers Need Much Debugging. An earlier article on the start-up of the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology (ISN) (see Other Links below).

Super Soldiers. A Business Week article on the opening of the MIT ISN.

Robot See, Robot Kill. Another article on research into military robots.

Frankensteins in the Pentagon. An interesting, though somewhat biased, article on Pentagon plans.

ARMS (Autonomous Robots for Military Systems): A Survey of Collaborative Robotics Core Technologies and Their Military Applications. A fairly sophisticated write-up on current and projected uses of robots in the military. The report is old (2001) but still of interest. Since the report is 72 pages long, don't attempt to download unless you are pretty serious. To access click on the PDF link. Please note that the PDF file is very large (over 13 MB).

Ethical Concerns

Robosoldier. An opinion piece on the ethics of weapons technology.

Killer robots ... friend or foe? An MSNBC post on a conference on the ethics of battlefield robots.

Robot wars. An opinion piece in The Economist on the attempt to encode ethics into robots.

Ethics dilemma in killer bots. An opinion piece by a computer scientist on the ethical issues raised by robotic weapons.

New Laws of Robotics proposed for US kill-bots. A UK article on an attempt to revise Asimov's three laws of robotics for war robots.

Make Robots Not War. Some Scientists Refuse to Get Paid for Killer Ideas. By Erik Baard. The Village Voice (September 10 - 16, 2003). "As American warfare has shifted from draftees to drones, science and the military in the United States have become inseparable. But some scientists are refusing to let their robots grow up to be killers."

Should there be a limit placed on the integration of humans and computers and electronic technology? Dr. Steven Mizrach considers this question from both practical and ethical standpoints. 

The Rise and Fall of the Robot Empire. Experts in various areas were asked to speculate on life in the year 3000. Their ideas were compiled into six scenarios by two leading futurists for the Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University. This scenario is one of the six.

Other Links

MachineBrain.Com Fighting Robots. A links page with mostly news articles on developments in military robots.

Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence. This links page maintained by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) provides links to many articles on the American military's movement towards drones and other autonomous devices. 

MIT's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. The "Soldier of the Future" video is interesting. Also check out items listed under News and Events.

Boilerplate as Soldier. This strange and amusing web site purports to detail the adventures and exploits of "Boilerplate," a mechanical soldier who served with Teddy Roosevelt. Of course, Boilerplate is a fiction but the site is still very, very funny.

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Last Update: 01/12/2016