(The Cipher Brief) Ripped out of the pages of science fiction novels, artificially intelligent, self-aware weapons systems could become a global existential threat, if harbingers of doom like Elon Musk are to be believed.
By Asfandyar Mir, Strategy Bridge: “Even President Barack Obama –– whose Presidency was marked by a prolific use of drones for counterterrorism –– recognized drone use as “what looks like a pretty antiseptic way of disposing of [our] enemies” while also expressing concerns that, without sufficient Congressional oversight, “you [could] end up with a president who can carry on perpetual wars all over the world.””
By Jeffrey Cummings, Scott Cuomo, et al., War on the Rocks: “As success or failure relates to the future of unmanned systems, autonomy, and artificial intelligence, the Corps has one option if the former remains the goal: move out rapidly — eyes wide open — to responsibly make manned-unmanned teaming actual throughout our MAGTFs.”
By Mark Jacobsen, Strategy Bridge: “Over the past year, a primitive type of WarBot has become a formidable battlefield weapon: the small unmanned aerial system. The threat materialized in October 2016 when a drone booby-trapped by the Islamic State killed two Kurdish soldiers. Within a few months, the Islamic State was flying tens of aerial bombardment missions each day, displayed the capability to drop grenades down the hatches of tanks, and reportedly flew up to a dozen aircraft at a time. The threat was so severe that the Mosul offensive nearly stalled.”
By Jon Askonas & Colby Howard, War on the Rocks: “Initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E — the last milestone before full-rate production starts — won’t be able to begin until late 2018.”