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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Robotnik Question

A few choice quotes from 'Wired for War 'by P. W. Singer.

Pacbot on Patrol

On the killing of civilian Daraz Khan and his friends while they were on a hike in Afganistan:

"As best as could be determined from seven thousand miles away, these were the men whom the Predator was looking for. As Pentagon spokesoman Victoria Clarke explained, 'We're convinced that it was an appropriate target...[althought] we do not yet know exactly who it was.'" (pg 397)

"What happens when things don't work out as they are supposed to? The attitude seems to be to still then kill them and let their gods sourt them out" (pg 403)

"Almost no technical schools require any sort of ethics classes and the robotics field certainly has nothing equivalent to the medical professon's Hippocratic oath." (pg 422)

"One of the biggest data-mining efforts to date is actually at Wal-Mart, which has gathered some 460 terabytes of information from custeroms on its mainframe servers in its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters ... Wal-Mart uses the information to track its customers' buying habits and perferences, and then employs AI to anticipate their future wants and needs. Its data mining, for example, detected that consumers tend to stockpile strawberry Pop-Tarts whenever a severe weather warning is made in the media. So Wal-Mart's supply system automatically responds to any announcement of bad weather by sending additional truckloads of Pop-Tarts to stores in the expected pathway." (pg 275)

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