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Recently, info started to circulate about AI robots with automatic weapons guarding a “FEMA camp” in Michigan.

While the AI aspect is not true from what we can gather and it is almost definitely misinformation that the location is a FEMA camp, the truth to the info circulating is that last year, the Michigan National Guard conducted an annual training exercise known as Northern Strike.

In 2017’s exercise, one of the things they did was practice the use of armed robots to “deliver lethal force” in a combat situation. This is extremely concerning for people who naturally don’t trust the US government, or any government for that matter.

It was reported by National Defense that the army took another step toward placing armed robotic ground vehicles on a battlefield, to fight alongside human soldiers and take up the more dangerous positions.

The so-called “wingman” capability was demonstrated by the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC. The robots could reportedly provide added “lethality,” a word I didn’t know existed, as well as reconnaissance, intelligence, and surveillance.

The goal of both human and robotic fighters is obviously so soldiers can be safer, while delivering “lethal force,” in the words of assistant product manager at TARDEC Major John Dickson. The goal will probably eventually be, encourage young men and women to join the military and kill for the state with much less danger involved, for a job that perhaps should be dangerous to match the intensity of what it means to kill another man.

“You can engage the enemy from positions of relative advantage while keeping yourself behind cover,”  he said. “The robots can go out and engage the enemy and deliver those effects … as opposed to having to put a human right there in harm’s way.”

However this is not AI like posts claimed, it is controlled by man: “it is a human that is pushing the button that pulls the trigger,” he continued.

These are the things being created to one day possibly fight wars.

So robots are being trained with soldiers to use lethal force in Michigan. Summarized by National Defense:

“The information gathered from Northern Strike and other exercises will inform TARDEC’s next technology build for the wingman, Dickson said. The center is considering autonomous features for low-level tactical behaviors, perhaps something like the park assist function on a car, he added.

“We’re looking at some of these tactical behaviors … for the robot that you can just plan into it,” he said.

TARDEC is also looking to develop a purpose-built machine gun developed specifically for the wingman capability, he added. “Right now, we are taking weapon systems that are designed completely for manned systems and putting them on robots. … It creates some inherent hardware issues,” he noted.”

Just where will the battlefield be in 10 years when this is a fully developed, fully dangerous thing?

 

(Image credit: Boston Dynamics)


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