The Pentagon is seeking bids to improve its Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) so that it can "acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process."
When this public tender sparked concern that the Pentagon's autonomous tanks were gaining automated targeting and firing capabilities -- that is, that they would be autonomous killbots -- the Pentagon updated the tender to reassure critics that "development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms, remain subject to the guidelines in the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 3000.09" and that "All uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence in this program will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with DoD legal and ethical standards."
Why does any of this matter? The Department of Defense Directive 3000.09, requires that humans be able to “exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force,” meaning that the U.S. won’t toss a fully autonomous robot into a battlefield and allow it to decide independently whether to kill someone. This safeguard is sometimes called being “in the loop,” meaning that a human is making the final decision about whether to kill someone.
U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy [Matt Novak/Gizmodo]
At this year's Defcon Lock Picking Village, Ioactive's Mike Davis will present a method for cracking high-security locks made by Dormakaba Holding, a Swiss company. The locks are used in very high-stake applications, from security ATMs to Air Force One, as well as guarding classified and sensitive materials on US military bases.
Someone dropped donated a live mortar shell to Goodwill in Placerville, Califonia. While the shell, thought to be leftover from World War II, would likely have fetched more than the usual bric-à-brac on offer, the organization is clear that they don’t accept donations of live ammunition. From CBS Sacramento: Goodwill says people often drop off […]
Back in 2015, the great state of Texas passed The Compassionate Use Act, making the use of cannabis for medical purposes totally cool… in a small number of instances. Only those with epilepsy are allowed to use the plant’s properties to ease their symptoms and the cannabis that they’re allowed to use must contain minuscule […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]