Israel eyes thinking machines to fight "Doomsday" missile strikes

Discuss

85 Responses to “Israel eyes thinking machines to fight "Doomsday" missile strikes”

  1. Takuan says:

    what would happen if Iran fired a Shahab missile straight up, say 200 kilometers – and detonated a small fission device obtained from Pakistan?

  2. joemo says:

    It’s bizarre how Israel’s defense system (aimed at saving lives) seems to arouse you people more than Iran’s nukes… Interesting.

  3. Takuan says:

    have them start a thread on Iran’s nukes so I can comment there then. This discussion is primarily about a proposed Israeli automated weapons system. Of course there are tangential issues.

    As for “saving” lives; we are discussing high explosive and possibly tactical nuke missiles. I rather think SOMEONE getting killed is the general idea.

  4. Takuan says:

    mply what you wish. There are citizens of Israel capable of cold blooded mass murder. There are also citizens of Israel horrified at the very thought.
    A passport does not confer any special qualities.

    In my youth I listened to Moshe Dayan speak to a university gathering. The one-eyed warrior-general made it very clear in his speech and manner that he would do whatever he thought it took to defend what he felt to be in Israel’s interests. Absolutely whatever. Chilling and admirable in a way. I was also struck by his almost sociopathic disdain for any contrary opinion.

    Yes, I believe an automated missile system could be deliberately mis-used – as if a weapon has legitimate moral use in the first place. I also acknowledged above- if you look – that it has its justifications too.

    There is no point in trying to browbeat me with “jew-hater” labels. Really.

  5. Antongarou says:

    WN, although I agree with you about the overbursting of hysteria from Takuan’s posts, and apparent anti-Israel bias on both his posts and TheDigression’s sole post, Takuan at the very least isn’t stupid in the least(hard to judge from one post, so I just assume TheDigression isn’t a troll).Your own post shows a disturbing level of ignorance: for the most part these states aren’t whipping up the mob in the street against Israel for religious reasons but so the dictators their have a scapegoat for all of their internal problems(Iran and Hizzballah being two probable exceptions).

    As to giving back land, it is much more complicated then that, which you should know if you have any knowledge of the conflict, but the refusal of Arab states to allow Palestinian nationals to get citizenship and integrate into society if they wish to sure isn’t helping.And I would take Wisdom and Practicality over Justice any day- much easier to live with the results(and yes, both sides never “lost an opportunity to lose an opportunity” as Abba Even’s saying went).

    De-escalation at every step:let me laugh now.Israel has escalated fighting in the past both for good reasons(preemptive attack) and bad ones(adventurism), and we do have our share of fanatics and extremists.As to “not killing the armies” what exactly do you think the IDF did to those armies?Pat them on the head and send them home?Of course the IDF kills people, that is part and parcel of being the military of a state at war- you make the other guy die for his state before he makes you die for yours.

  6. EH says:

    This is just psycho-by-proxy BS scare tactics on the US/Israel’s part. If the CIA/Mossad/etc. really knew what was going on in Iran they wouldn’t be advertising it in the newspapers.

  7. Antinous says:

    Klokwerk – Fair enough. The only trouble with a revolution in Iran is that the US has a habit of undermining democracy there and trying to install a puppet regime instead. But it’s a good idea.

    Joemo – Iran doesn’t have nukes. Developing them and figuring how to deploy them is a lengthy proposition and they are on a very short leash. It’s not going to happen. If we obliterated Iraq (who we didn’t even really have a grudge against until Bush Sr.’s grand plan to eat the entire Mideast), what will we do to Iran which has been at the top of our shit list for decades?

    Takuan – Those articles gave me a headache. Can we have a unicorn chaser?

  8. Cupcake Faerie says:

    If I were the king of the world, tell
    you what I’d do…

    I remove all of the Israeli babies from their households and deliver them to Arab households

    I then then remove all of the Arab babies from from Arab households and deliver them to Israeli households.

    peace in the Mideast

    repeat in Africa, Asia, South and North America, with respective ethnic polarities

    oUr differences and fears are irrelevent

  9. Takuan says:

    unicorn chaser:
    “Well then, the accomplished man uses the sword but does not kill others. He uses the sword and gives others life. When it is necessary to kill, he kills. When it is necessary to give life, he gives life. When killing, he kills in complete concentration; when giving life, he gives life in complete concentration. Without looking at right and wrong, he is able to see right and wrong; without attempting to discriminate, he is able to discriminate well. Treading on water is just like treading on land, and treading on land is just like treading on water. If he is able to gain this freedom, he will not be perplexed by anyone on earth. In all things, he will be beyond companions.”

  10. gitaiba says:

    Um, I’m a language geek and I speak Hebrew, so I’d guess “Kesher ha-Shamayim.” That would translate to “connection of the heavens.”

    The rest of the post is too depressing to comment on.

  11. Antinous says:

    Tak-kun,

    You were young once?

  12. Antongarou says:

    @Takuan: I wasn’t thinking about “jew hater” as much as about “anti-Israel bias”

    As to the passport thing:do you think just everyone will have access?The people with access will most probably vetted very carefully and belong to very high echelons, by implications you’re both calling everybody in that department of the government of Israel stupid and murderous- stupid because you assume these (highly placed, presumably competent)people won’t know the impact of a large number of civilian jets being destroyed by Israeli missile defense system on world opinion(murderous is obvious).There are many things I would call government officials here, but imbecilicaly stupid and murderous are definitely not on the list.

  13. Antinous says:

    And all this time I thought that you were named after the pickle.

  14. se7a7n7 says:

    Sarah Conner just bought a ticket to Tel Aviv.

  15. Takuan says:

    @21

    to my lasting shame. I am overcoming it though, in time.

  16. Takuan says:

    that too

  17. McGrude says:

    Bad, bad idea. Never remove the wetware from weapons systems.

  18. Brainspore says:

    Dumb and pointless. If all the humans are already dead, who CARES if the system can launch a counterstrike?

  19. License Farm says:

    How do you say “Skynet” in Hebrew?

    Yahweh.

    I don’t assume anything about the religious affiliations of anyone posting on here, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I am of a Jewish background, though I do not practice the faith as it is generally conceived, nor do I subscribe to its status as a race or ethnicity per se. I am not ashamed of Jews, but I am ashamed of Israel. Even more than that, however, people who equate criticism of Israel with being anti-Israel (or worse, anti-Israeli, and worse yet, anti-Semitic) are the same undifferentiating reductionists who call criticism of our government’s policies anti-American. Holding our institutions to higher standards or, hell, even the baseline standards, is in fact the greatest show of support one can demonstrate. Dogmatic cheerleading in defiance of reality is not support but fear of rejection, like members of Elvis’ entourage who wouldn’t tell him ‘no’ and ended up with a stiff on the john. The motivation is not for the one they are supposedly protecting but their own agendas. The dishonesty of yes-men is disgusting and insulting, but more so, it is insanely dangerous to all concerned.

  20. Takuan says:

    @72

    I fear you still misconstrue. I suggest you re-read the entire thread carefully and test your assumptions step by step.

    Further, understand that my intent is primarily to have my words and yours before a larger audience. Note the conspicuous absence of the ad hominem.

    Please consider; a crime can have just one perpetrator. Just one.

  21. Antinous says:

    License Farm,

    I don’t know how you got from Yahweh to dead Elvis so fast, but you’ve got my vote.

    Americans mostly think that all Muslims are identical to Osama bin Laden, so it’s no surprise that most of the world thinks that all Americans are like George W. Bush. I myself have come to think of all Canadians as replicants of Cory Doctorow, mostly cuz he announces his nationality about once per week.

  22. Takuan says:

    gives Israel an excuse for first use or over-retaliation: “the golem did it”

  23. Takuan says:

    ever noticed how Yahweh, Elvis and Cory have never been seen together at the same time?…..

  24. Antinous says:

    Who could believe that Iran is organized enough to launch a doomsday barrage? Anyone who knows how to do anything has fled the country. The education systems is in shambles. People are freezing to death because they don’t have fuel. Why are we always so threatened by half-dead countries that don’t have enough infrastructure to run their own daily affairs? Oh, yeah. Because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  25. cthrusoldier says:

    I hope that after almost 3 decades of war by proxy perpetrated against Israel by Iran in Lebanon, and conversely by western arms dealers against Iran through Genocidal Iraqi Regimes, the day will one day arrive when these two ancient nations may once again enjoy trade and travel without restrictions or insecurity.

    It would be the natural conclusion to so many needless battles. There is no pride in peace; there is only a sense of continuity. The road that links Tehran to Jerusalem has seen more sweat than blood and less blood than oil.

    I think this system is a wonderful project and if it is executed with the same level of proficiency as 99% of Israel’s R&D it will open the door to innovative applications for transportation, as well as construction technology, not to mention sustainable agriculture which classically has been the primary aim of Zionism anyways.

  26. Jacques says:

    Ironically Doctor Strangelove is now working for the Israelis, he really has no morals.

  27. Takuan says:

    ahh, what harm really can a bunch of chemical warheads do anyways?

  28. edgore says:

    “How do you say “Skynet” in Hebrew?”

    WOPR

  29. Sleepy says:

    nd s, th prdctbl nt-srl strm bgns gn. Ys – tht mst b t – srl jst wnts n xcs t ttck rn. srl shldn’t hv nythng t fr, ftr ll. mn, t’s nt s f thy’r ntrly srrndd by cntrs wh hv pldgd t wp thm ff th mp. nd t’s nt lk ths cntrs hv vr trd t d jst tht. Crtnly nt n 1967. r gn n 1973.

  30. Takuan says:

    it is not “anti-Israel” to say Israel wants to attack Iran (or have someone attack Iran).

  31. Antongarou says:

    Takuan, by that logic we should have had nuclear war ages ago- both the US and USSR had(and still have) massive nuclear arsenals, not to mention other smaller arsenals across the globe.What makes you think Israel will be less careful with this system?And yes, I am talking about Israel as a state/system because this system will be the one that determines who has access to the system.

    As to ad-hom:for me “anti-Israel bias” isn’t an ad-hom, it is a simple observation I make about you from the content of your post.If I cried “Antisemitism” it would be ad-hom, “anti-Israel” simply accepts that you have a position about Israel and its policies, the same as I’m unabashed of having “pro-Israel bias” and consider myself an Israeli patriot.We all have various biases:in addition to my pro-Israel bias I have a very strong pro-SF, pro-Technology and a mild anti-religious bias, and am unashamed of all three.

  32. Antongarou says:

    @Takuan In addition:you continually say I misconstrue the sentence- would you please explain it in plainer language, although I am proficient in English it still is my second language.

  33. Takuan says:

    from the Jerusalem Post a month ago:

    “if a nuclear war between Israel and Iran were to break out 16-20 million Iranians would lose their lives – as opposed to 200,000-800,000 Israelis, according to a report recently published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which is headed by Anthony H. Cordesman, formerly an analyst for the US Department of Defense. “

  34. Sleepy says:

    Can someone from the website (or anyone at all) explain why all my comments on this post were censored (someone removed all the vowels, rendering them unreadable)? I said nothing insulting or offensive, something which even people here who disagreed with me with will agree with. If the admins of this website are censoring comments because they disagree with the content, that would be extremely unfortunate. This website (rightly) supports free expression and flow of ideas, even if we don’t agree with what’s being said. It’s one of the greatest elements of our constitution, and would be a shame if it isn’t being honored here.

  35. cranched says:

    Colossus or Guardian?

  36. Antongarou says:

    @43 I don’t know if you noticed, but those “high explosive” warheads that are used in anti-missile missiles are quite small,comparatively.You don’t need much to incapacitate a missile and/or change its course.If they’ll hit a civilian aircraft there will be a lot of people killed, but such craft are unlikely in the sky during wartime, and the system wouldn’t be active continuously.If they miss and land somewhere they’ll do very little damage.

    As to tactical nukes:these are likelier to be on the barrage heading into Israel.they’re heavy, which makes the defensive missile both slower and less maneuverable, and so hamper its effectiveness very much.Add in the fact that at least some of the missiles will, by necessity, be intercepted above Israel and you get unacceptable damage.

  37. Takuan says:

    tweaking right along here now: Opposition to some policies of the state of Israel does not make one “anti-the state of Israel”.

    I would also argue that blind “pro-every present policy of the state of Israel” can be very unpatriotic.

    As to all-out nuclear war; very,very specifically now: I find the automation of an Israeli anti-missile system to be fraught with some degree of peril since the removal of the human ultimate commander from the loop also removes the accountability that lethal force should always carry. The danger is the built in alibi. Whether by malice or mistake, if a civilian aircraft is misidentified and shot down, who will stand in the dock? A computer?

  38. Antinous says:

    Sleepy,

    Iran is also surrounded by countries that want to wipe it off the map. Who isn’t?

  39. Takuan says:

    a fully automatic system also means “friendly fire” incidents like the USS Liberty can be more easily explained away

  40. Takuan says:

    @76

    my apologies, I will try to be clearer. Sometimes I have either not fully thought out something or am unable to find exactly the right words to express my thoughts. This makes what I write less than clear.
    Be assured, I have no bad intent. By letting a less-than-clear sentence out, I have another chance to think again and try again.

    I request your patience and also ask you be honest too.

  41. Spikeles says:

    Just me or does this sound like A) Skynet, or B) A Classic StarTrek episode?

  42. Keneke says:

    US Missile Defense Engineer here.

    Missile defense is all about the kinetic kill – a defense missile physically hitting an incoming missile is enough to vaporize both, no explosives needed. So if a missile defense system launches everything, you’ll have “empty” missiles falling here and there as debris, no explosives anywhere, most or all of the fuel spent.

    Sure, maybe there will be debris, but on the other hand, interception happens far away from any potential ground zero.

  43. sasquatch says:

    Again, I’d like to welcome our robot overlords to our world and welcome their inevitable takeover of our world.

    -Your humble servant.

  44. Takuan says:

    “away from any potential ground zero can also mean “over someone else’s head”.

    I also recollect Iran Air Flight 655. A civilian flight.

  45. Peterus says:

    It’s not Skynet if it only has defence capabilities.

    “By the gods, Run! AI run amok and started arbitrally … shooting down incoming missiles!”

    IMO it’s right move to allow more autonomus operations. “Never trust a computer that you can’t throw thru the window”. So it will have general on-switch. In extreme situation you could instantly fire it up with one order if humans wouldn’t cope with organising thousands of interceptions in one hour. On the other hand if somehow autonomy, or central command fails you can still input codes and fire away from each unit.
    Quite safe.

    For a DEFENSE mechanism. Aplying same tech to stuff that actually kills people, not only incoming rockets, would be risky.

  46. Takuan says:

    A missile system must be ready all the time, hot war or waiting. An semi-automated system may or may not be as statistically prone to error as solely human tended.

    There is increased danger of “accident” if plausible deniability is increased. Machine failure is easier and safer to admit than human error.

    This system is proposed since a mass attack of rockets and missiles (in the simultaneous thousands) would overwhelm any human command and control capacity to respond. It does make sense to use automated radar and satellite fire control system; sensible,do-able and effective. And vastly expensive.

    Even so, in light of all the other interested parties and their arsenals, this missile defense system is ultimately moot. There is too much at stake.

  47. Guesstimate Jones says:

    There might be a problem here:

    Will the AI be Jewish? And if so, will it function on the Sabbath?

  48. Takuan says:

    Sleepy,

    since you asked; I do not know for a fact,but I suspect your comments were taken as less than respectful.

    I find that if I imagine I am in a room, having drinks and talking politics and religion with everyone in that room carrying a loaded gun, I then know just how polite I need to be.

    If I must disagree,I try to disagree with the idea-not the person.

    That way,no one gets shot.

  49. Takuan says:

    people have been accidentally killed by automated weapons system failures. Were they killed by the machine? Or by the human that caused or permitted the failure?

  50. Sleepy says:

    ntns – ntrstng. rn frng th thrt f Trkmnstn, zrbjn, nd rmn.

    Tkn – nc bckpdl. nd mr rnns wld d n ll-t wr – thr’s mr rnns thn srls.

  51. Keneke says:

    > “away from any potential ground zero can also mean “over someone else’s head”.

    The population density outside of cities in most of the world is small enough to almost completely eliminate the potential of falling debris damage.

    > I also recollect Iran Air Flight 655. A civilian flight.

    …with a human firing the missile. Your complaint doesn’t seem to address the fact that Israel wants to automate, but only complains about missile systems and war in general. That’s a completely different discussion.

  52. Takuan says:

    backpedal? Too much presumption here. Your mind is already made up. “One cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reason himself into”

    Why don’t you make one clear proposition here and defend it?

  53. TheDigression says:

    I’ve never been able to find an online calculator that can tell me exactly how many Arab lives one Israeli life is worth, but if there is one, I imagine the Israeli military probably developed it.

    “It’s not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the nation of Israel” – Colin Powell

  54. Sleepy says:

    I stand by my comments and am quite sure that there was nothing disrespectful, especially when compared to any of the other posts. If this website censored my comments, I suspect that it was because of the viewpoint and content, which is extremely disappointing, considering that this site supports open speech and helps reveals acts of censorship. I would hope that fellow commenters would support me here, even if you disagree with my viewpoint.

  55. Antongarou says:

    @Takuan:The guy who pushed the button that made the system go from “ready” state to “kill” state, as well as the guy who ordered him to do so, if any, would be the ones who have to stand before the court.The human commander isn’t removed from the loop, it’s just that the human component is reduced by significant amount, allowing faster reaction time and better coordination.

    As to the “pro every Israel policy”:I’m definitely not that- there are many policies of my government that I have criticized in the past, and there will probably be many more in the future.What I mean by Pro and Anti bias is our “default” position on the spectrum:I tend to look on the positive while you tend towards the negative- optimist vs. pessimist if you will.

    PS please reread the sentence under discussion(65) and think about what it implies about the people who make such “mistakes”.I think you would understand my reaction.

  56. Sleepy says:

    Y’v prvn my pnt – lt th nt-srl prd bgn. W t ths wh mght dfnd srl plcy. Rd my ntl pst – ws tryng t b sbtl, bt my prpstn s thr.

  57. joemo says:

    So I guess some of you are basically saying, because a mistake could be made, this system is a total nightmare. Thats a really bizarre way of thinking, especially in this situation when such a system could save so many lives.

    It’s extremely rare for people to be killed, let alone harmed in any way by anti-missile systems. These systems tend to save many lives. The very flawed Patriot system of some years ago is a good example of this.

  58. Takuan says:

    nope, t’aint nuthin there. Now, if ya’ll wanna come out and say: “This system is a good idea because..”
    then do so.

  59. Takuan says:

    what,I, am saying, is that accidents happen. Sometimes accidentally. Sometimes on purpose.

  60. Takuan says:

    I understand that you are affronted by my suggestion that a person in authority in the Israeli military could deliberately murder civilians. It is not a pleasant suggestion.

    I did not say ALL or even a large number of such people existed. All it takes is one. Can you agree that it is possible that one such person could be in the Israeli military? Just one? Of the thousands?

    I am sure that one madman would be restrained by those around him, if they knew his intent.

    Returning to the matter of ultimate human responsibility for the automated system. What are your thoughts in general about this type of thing?
    When direct responsibility is removed one or several steps from the actual deed, does it increase the chances of error? Does it make the basic situation more dangerous?

  61. backload says:

    @ Post 20

    There is one here: http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/Casualties.asp

    Not affiliated with the IDF.

    @ Post 21

    > You’ve proven my point – let the anti-Israeli parade begin.

    No, you’ve started an anti-Israeli parade. Keep provocatively waving your flag from the sidelines, I’m certain others will line up to march by you.

  62. Antinous says:

    Sleepy,

    If you’re looking for people who support apartheid and genocide, you’re barking up the wrong blog. And Iran is under threat of attack from any country with a predominantly Sunni power structure. Oh, and the US aided by its mini-me, the UK.

  63. Takuan says:

    those are some grim numbers

  64. ecobore says:

    “Do you want to play a game” this is insanity!

  65. Takuan says:

    re:Flight 655: a human may have pushed the launch button. It was automated radars, transponders and fire control that supposedly led to it.

    Or did the crew of the Vincennes DELIBERATELY AND KNOWINGLY kill all those people? Including 66 children?

  66. noen says:

    Would you like to play a game?

  67. Antongarou says:

    @Takuan: The chances for error very much depend on the amount and nature of safety features that any system has.In potential using computers instead of humans to implement decisions can be very much safer- and don’t make mistakes, this system just implement a decision via coordination of missile batteries and radars.I naturally don’t know the details of the system, so I can’t tell if there even a risk of it misidentifying a civilian plane as a missile- from a layman’s perspective I would guess they’re pretty easy to tell apart, by velocity and acceleration if nothing else.

  68. Takuan says:

    do your comments then, pass all of these tests?
    (I’m not saying all mine do)

    http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

  69. Takuan says:

    yep,it won’t launch nukes (as explained here).
    Still plenty of things that can go wrong though.
    And someone is going to make a buck off it.

  70. coldspell says:

    Dr Daystrom’s M-5 multitronic computer?

  71. I LIKE STRANGE says:

    Russian space roaches to the rescue

  72. wn says:

    TheDigression and Takuan must be trolls, it’s not possible to type when you’re that full of stupid.

    You really need to pull your heads out of your asses and look at what’s going on.

    This is a defensive weapon, to be used against the weapons (not people) of nations that have sworn, for religious reasons, as have all of the countries near Israel, to destroy every last Jew, drive them into the sea, etc.

    To ignore the facts of the matter and bleat like sheep about Israel being the war-monger is the height of idiocy.

    The Arab states lambaste Israel for not giving the Palestinians their own country, but the Arab states totally refuse to help. They’re far bigger than Israel and have more room for the Palestinians, but their Arab neighbors would rather use them as a pawn against Israel.

    If there was any Justice, Israel would have kept the land they captured when they were attacked. Then they’d have plenty of land to give the Palestinians.

    Israel isn’t perfect, but it wouldn’t matter to those around if they were. At every step Israel de-escalates the fighting – at every step nearly every neighbor of their funds terrorism in Israel or wages outright war against them.

    If they wanted to commit murder, as those around them do, they could easily do so. They didn’t even kill the attacking armies that had inflicted so much damage on them.

  73. JCD says:

    “Idiots. Why don’t they learn from civilized nations? If you fear some miserable third world collapsing economy is on the brink of developing some technology that will tip the balance: ….blah blah blah”

    No need to include the rest, you get the idea.

    The same people who say this also say this when it’s time to actually do something about these miserable, destitute 3rd world countries…

    “But we can’t attack them, who are we kidding, they have the world’s 3rd largest Army! They’re battle hardened from the war with (some other turd world country).”

    Not surprisingly, they’re also the same people who think GW Bush is a moron one day, and the next they think he is an evil Zionist genius plotting the takeover of the world with the blessing of the”New World Order”, whatever the hell that means.

    Make up your mind already.

  74. yish says:

    Idiots. Why don’t they learn from civilized nations? If you fear some miserable third world collapsing economy is on the brink of developing some technology that will tip the balance:

    • fabricate evidence.
    • bomb it to stone age
    • occupy it for 5-15 years
    • appologise for fabricating evidence, but by now – who cares?
    • start looking for an exit stratagy

    I’m no fan of Israeli policy, but please enlighten me: isn’t this a report about a defensive system? And please, spare me your knee-jerk reactions. I’m too tired to care.

  75. Takuan says:

    if a “defensive” missile hits a civilian aircraft, is it easier to explain if no human gave the order?

  76. KlokWerk says:

    Takuan, is there something wrong with your knee?

  77. Antinous says:

    WN,

    Disagreeing with you doesn’t make someone a troll. And calling people stupid is an exceptionally ineffective way to win an argument.

    …nations that have sworn, for religious reasons, as have all of the countries near Israel, to destroy every last Jew, drive them into the sea, etc.

    I don’t actually buy the idea that this is based on religion. I think that it’s about Europeans colonizing a middle-eastern nation. As depressing as it is to say this, American goyim are at least as anti-semitic as Iranians.

    If there was any Justice, Israel would have kept the land they captured when they were attacked. Then they’d have plenty of land to give the Palestinians.

    Why that would be like the US stealing half of Mexico and doling out welfare to the newly created underclass. Oh, wait! That’s what we actually did. No wonder we get on so well with Israel. Bullies and thieves hang together.

  78. Takuan says:

    nope, your point? If any?

  79. deepy says:

    Why would Iran launch an all-out doomsday barrage knowing that Israel has hundreds of nukes pointed at them? It would only happen if Iran knew those nukes were on the way.

  80. Antinous says:

    Labeling Takuan’s opinions as ‘knee-jerk’ merely displays your lack of a cogent counter-argument. Name calling is just an attempt to get people with opposing opinions to shut up. It usually has the opposite effect.

    Nobody here has denied Israel’s right to defend itself (although some would happily do so.) The point is that robotic response might be overkill or a terrible accident waiting to happen. Re-read Xeni’s post and now tell me who has the twitchy knee.

  81. Dave Hecht says:

    i’d just like to point out something about theoretical destructiveness of advanced technologies: the atmosphere has not been ignited by nuclear technologies, particle accelerators have yet to collapse into black holes, and i’m willing to bet against gray goo. when an AI has gone wrong, it’s usually because somewhere along the line a human made a fatal error, not an AI. skynet is a great metaphor for our fears, but a poor case to pose as historical possibility. AIs have a tremendous way to go before they are remotely capable of autonomously assessing threats and taking independent action. and even when they do, we have enough sci-fi based fears to at least temper those possibilities. or at least, i would hope the designers of such technologies do.

    i also believe israel has an ethical component to its military doctrine that does not include MAD or relinquishing autonomy on strategic or tactical decisions to an AI, ever.

  82. Antongarou says:

    @Gitaiba: I would use “Reshet” rather the “Kesher”, rendering the meaning closer to the original.

    @Takuan 65:You are aware that the way your sentence is structured implicates that you believe Israel would use it in such a way?As an Israeli I find it both abysmally ignorant and deeply offensive.

  83. KlokWerk says:

    You want my real answer? Here it is.

    My guess: Israel foresees a time when they’re going to have to shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program. And it is a nuclear weapons program. You think Iran wants a nuclear reactor for energy? Iran who is sitting on top of the world’s richest supplies of oil and natural gas? For a tenth of the cost and trouble of a nuclear reactor, Iran could improve their oil and gas infrastructure and wouldn’t need nuclear reactors.

    They’re going for nuclear weapons, which Israel will never let them have. So when Israel destroys that reactor and associated facilities, Iran will fire everything they have at Israel in retaliation because if they don’t, there will be civil war as the government will be seen as impotent. Israel can’t afford to fight Iran head to head and can’t just sit back and get bombarded, so a comprehensive missile shield is their best bet: they destroy Iran’s reactor, they hide behind their missile shield until Iran runs out of missiles, problem solved. Iran can no sooner invade Israel than Israel can invade Iran, so there will be a lot of long range attacks and saber rattling and in the end, Iran will have no reactor and Israel will be no worse for wear.

    There is only one condition under which Israel can use a nuclear weapon, and that’s if their very existence is threatened.

    This shield will, therefore, prevent a nuclear war because with it, Israel will not be threatened by a bombardment and there will be no need to use nukes in a fight against Iran.

    Also note that this shield isn’t “Skynet”. If you read up on it some more you’ll see that it’s a system for integrating anti-missile batteries together so that someone somewhere can flip a switch and have all of the available anti-missile systems in the country coordinate to acquire and shoot down incoming missiles as rapidly as possible in ways that separate manned missile crews can’t handle. There’s no time for missile battery to tell missile batteries B through Z which of the 5000 incoming targets they are going to acquire. It needs a system that doesn’t currently exist.

    You can say what you will about Israelis, but don’t think they’re stupid or foolish or hacking out unnecessary software programs to tie into weapon systems for the hell of it. They endure more rocket attacks per year than the average American endures trips to the gas station. Mass rocket attacks are the weapons of choice for the enemies and if Iran decides to stop operating through proxies and attack directly, Israel knows exactly how many missiles to expect. If an automated, linked system is what they say they need, it’s probably because they do.

    The best hope for the middle east right now is a revolution in Iran, which is possible. The Iranian people aren’t the problem — the Iranian government is. Iranians are freezing on top of the richest oil fields in the world because the Iranian president is more concerned with nuclear weapons and saber rattling than he is about the welfare of his people.

Leave a Reply