Due to technological revolutions outside its control, the Department of Defense (DoD) anticipates the dawn of a bold new era of automated war within just 15 years. By then, they believe, wars could be fought entirely using intelligent robotic systems armed with advanced weapons.
Last week, US defense secretary Chuck Hagel ann?ounced the 'Defense Innovation Initiative'—a sweeping plan to identify and develop cutting edge technology breakthroughs "over the next three to five years and beyond" to maintain global US "mili?tary-technological superiority." Areas to be covered by the DoD programme include robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, Big Data and advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing.
But just how far down the rabbit hole Hagel's initiative could go—whether driven by desperation, fantasy or hubris—is revealed by an overlooked Pentagon-funded study, published quietly in mid-September by the DoD National Defense University's (NDU) Center for Technology and National Security Policy in Washington DC.
The 72-page d?ocument throws detailed light on the far-reaching implications of the Pentagon's plan to monopolize imminent "transformational advances" in biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence, information technology, nanotechnology, and energy.