IN-DEPTH: ‘It Is Skynet’: Pentagon Envisions Robot Armies in a Decade


    from The Epoch Times:

    WASHINGTON—Robotic killing machines prowl the land, the skies, and the seas. They are fully automated, seeking out and engaging with adversarial robots across every domain of war. Their human handlers are relegated to the rearguard, overseeing the action at a distance while conflicts are fought and won by machines.

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    Far from science fiction, this is the vision of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.

    The United States, according to Milley, is in the throes of one of the myriad revolutions in military affairs that have spanned history.

    Such revolutions have spanned from the invention of the stirrup to the adoption of the firearm to the deployment of mechanized maneuver warfare and, now, to the mass fielding of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

    It is a shift in the character of war, Milley believes, greater than any to have come before.

    “Today we are in … probably the biggest change in military history,” Milley said during a March 31 discussion with Defense One.

    “We’re at a pivotal moment in history from a military standpoint. We’re at what amounts to a fundamental change in the very character of war.”

    Mark Milley
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testifies before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during a hearing for the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Defense, on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2022. (Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo)

    Robotic Armies in 10 Years

    Many would no doubt be more comfortable with the idea of robots battling for the control of Earth if it were in a science-fiction novel or on a movie screen rather than on the list of priorities of the military’s highest-ranking officer.

    Milley believes, however, that the world’s most powerful armies will be predominantly robotic within the next decade, and he means for the United States to be the first across that cybernetic Rubicon.

    “Over the next ten to fifteen years, you’ll see large portions of advanced countries’ militaries become robotic,” Milley said. “If you add robotics with artificial intelligence and precision munitions and the ability to see at range, you’ve got the mix of a real fundamental change.”

    “That’s coming. Those changes, that technology … we are looking at inside of 10 years.”

    That means that the United States has “five to seven years to make some fundamental modifications to our military,” Milley says, because the nation’s adversaries are seeking to deploy robotics and AI in the same manner, but with Americans in their sights.

    The nation that gets there first, that deploys robotics and AI together in a cohesive way, he says, will dominate the next war.

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