Future of War: Is Terminator/Matrix scenario going to be a reality?

I saw an interesting TED speech by P.W. Singer about the future of warfare. As part of his speech Singer shows how widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction -- that now may not be so fictitious.

A lot of these technologies are either operational or in prototype today. The day is not far when you will see battalions of robots/machines, and warfare would be fought from remote. One of the key aspect of this robotic warfare is that the profile of soldiers is changing. Soldiers of tomorrow will be techies/nerds that will be remotely operating the robots and directing the warfare from the safety of their desks. This is like an extension from some of the video games that we see today. Some of you techies out there watch out there is an interesting career option opening up for you :) On a positive note ,this is a great innovation and will result in lesser fatalities during war.

While these technologies are great and very progressive the flip side is, these robots/devices are prone to be/will be hacked. It opens up possibilities where terrorist groups consisting of few hackers can wire the devices to attack innocents or turn against the countries that own them. It reduces the entry barrier to terrorism and will enable a very small group of terrorists to cause great damage. Size, number of people they have, funding etc. will not matter any more. Total dependence on technology is the biggest risk in this electronic warfare.

Check out the below video:

This video has got me thinking and too many questions are floating in my head - Is the scenario portrayed in Martix, terminator etc going to be reality in the not too distant future? Is there a possibility we might see it in our lifetimes(next 4-5 decades)? This is a great innovation/achievement however given our long history of conflicts and wars is this a direction we should be taking? Finally what are the options available to mitigate some of the risks caused by robotic warfare?

Pls share your thoughts on the above.

Photo Credit: joberrr


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