Daily Illuminator

September 20, 2009: When Drones Go Bad

Let me go on record as officially welcoming our new robot overlords. I don't want anyone to doubt which side I'm on when the machines rise up.

Never going to happen? Perhaps, but recently a drone deployed in Afghanistan went rogue. Human control was lost, and the Air Force took "proactive measures" to deal with it. I'm pretty sure that translates to "we sent a guy to shoot it down."

The details of how the drone left its leash are few, which prompts me to ask: what if it wasn't a "how," but a "why"? What if the drone saw a particularly pleasant sunset it wanted to photograph? Or a clever mathematical pattern in the rocks falling from the mountainside?

And when will the Air Force confirm or deny that it forced the other drones in the area to watch the wayward Reaper being destroyed? It works for dice . . . perhaps it will work for UAVs.

-- Paul Chapman

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