Rule #1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Remember Isaac Asimov's classic three laws of robotics? Surely thats down the drain, with this new 'toy' of the US military. You can forget about them deadly lions and rattlesnakes, these new MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) bots were made for killin'. Think of them as a very early version of the Terminator.
The robots can connect to the same GPS network as the troops, and it's got an extra fail-safe that won't allow it to fire at its control unit. Huh? Yes, you read it correctly:
The robot may not injure humans its CONTROL UNIT.
Should we interpret this as an updated 21th century version of Asimov's first law, adjusted for wild systems ethics?!
For better or worse, these deathly machines are now sent out to Iraq, giving ground troops a way of extending their presence into dangerous areas without exposing themselves to fire. I don't mean to be over-dramatic, but I am telling you: we get the nextnature we deserve.
Via Danger Room. See also: Telebombing, Roboswift.