Bloggingheads.tv: Paging Sarah Connor [Science Saturday]

When will humans turn over the job of war to robot slaves? According to Peter W Singer, author of the new book Wired for War, it's happening already. In this week's Science Saturday, Peter and John Horgan discuss the role of robots in the success of the Iraq surge and whether America is starting to look like a bit like Skynet to the people of the Middle East. They also discuss reasons to fear the coming of cyborgs and whether robots might not someday bring about the end of war.

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Robots will become far more a weapon of war, but it will not end war, any more than staged sports contests will end war.

When a conflict rises to the war state, it has already passed the normal rule based bounds of civilization. It's persued until on side is so decimated that it cannot continue or has completely lost the will to continue. Losing robots does not put a nation in that position. The losing side (or both sides) will put more and more on the line, at more and more risk until the conflict simply cannot be continued.