Underlinings (#64)

Ancient Greek robot stories, and more:

Out of Pandora’s box flew pestilence, disaster, misfortune. In simple versions of the myth, the last thing to flutter out of Pandora’s box was hope. But deeper, darker versions say that instead of hope, the last thing in the box was ‘anticipation of misfortune’. In this version, Pandora panicked and slammed down the lid, trapping foreknowledge inside. Deprived of the ability to foresee the future, humankind received what we call ‘hope’.


Stupidity for one side of the strategic equation is added camouflage for the other.

Military Automatism

The automation of military technology goes nonlinear:

“Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have directed how they are used,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms division researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “Now there is a real threat that humans would relinquish their control and delegate life-and-death decisions to machines.”

Some have argued in favor of robots on the battlefield, saying their use could save lives. […] But last year, more than 1,000 technology and robotics experts — including scientist Stephen Hawking, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — warned that such weapons could be developed within years, not decades. […] In an open letter, they argued that if any major military power pushes ahead with development of autonomous weapons, “a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.”

“Virtually inevitable” is a cybernetic truth-bomb.