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Military 2.0 - Patrick Lin - H+ Summit @ Harvard

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For better or worse, the military is a major driver of technological, world-changing innovations, such as the Internet. At the same time, wars and armed conflicts are a key roadblock in the evolution of humanity. Therefore, to understand how emerging technologies will change our lives, we must look at their military origins as a harbinger of things to come for society at large. This presentation will focus on ethical and policy questions arising from two key areas making headlines today and in the future: human enhancement technologies and robotics.

For instance, are there moral or practical issues with eliminating human emotions such as fear or anger, which have led to abuses and accidents in wartime? Must these enhancements (and others, such as super-strength) be temporary or reversible, considering that soldiers usually return to civilian life? Robots can discourage such abuses if equipped with cameras, becoming objective and unblinking observers on the battlefield, but would this erode cohesion and trust among soldiers – and in the civilian realm, would surveillance robots infringe on our privacy? Generally, would these new technologies make it easier to engage in war, since they would lower political costs by reducing the number of casualties on our side – if so, is it immoral, or otherwise counterproductive to humanity's progress, to develop these capabilities?

Patrick Lin is the director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group , based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Most recently, he has led research efforts that culminated in two major reports: Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design (funded by the U.S. Dept. of Defense/Navy, 2008) and Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers (funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, 2009). He has published several books and papers in the field of technology ethics, including a new monograph What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter?: From Science to Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and a forthcoming anthology Robot Ethics: The Social and Ethical Implication of Robotics (MIT Press, in preparation). Dr. Lin earned his B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California at Santa Barbara, and completed a three-year post-doctoral appointment at Dartmouth College. He is currently an assistant professor in Cal Poly’s philosophy department and an ethics fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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  • You really should read Stanislaw Lem's Cyberiad. He got there long before DARPA - and has rather a lot to say on this area. Mostly dire warnings.
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Military 2.0 - Patrick Lin - H+ Summit @ Harvard

  1. 1. Military 2.0 Ethical issues in robotics and human enhancement H+ Summit 2010 Patrick Lin, Ph.D. Harvard University Cal Poly State Univ., San Luis Obispo June 12, 2010 Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group
  2. 2. [ Agenda ] • Military and society • Human enhancement • Robotics • Some issues Civilian blowback Culture of war Others Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 2
  3. 3. [ Tangled fates ] “To secure peace is to prepare for war.” – Karl von Clausewitz Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 3
  4. 4. [ Mystery and hype ] Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 4
  5. 5. [ But an undeniable force ] “Necessity is the mother of invention.” - Plato Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 5
  6. 6. [ Commanding budgets ] Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 6
  7. 7. [ Military technology roots ] • Internet • Computers • GPS • Communications tech • Medicine, incl. prosthetics • Nuclear power • Microwave power • Radar • Pesticides • Automobile • Rockets • Air and sea travel • Gunpowder Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 7
  8. 8. [ Some military projects today ] • Cyborg insects • Robots that eat • Energy weapons • Telepathic communication • Quantum computing • Submersible aircraft • Exoskeletons • Enhanced warfighters • Dynamic armor • Invisible shields and cloaks • Accelerated therapeutics • Real-time language translations • Programmable matter Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 8
  9. 9. [ Military H+ projects ] • Accelerated Learning • Crystalline Cellulose Conversion to Glucose • Education Dominance • Enabling Stress Resistance • Exoskeleton • Neovision2 • Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts • Peak Soldier Performance (Metabolic Dominance) • PowerSwim • RealNose • Synthetic Telepathy • Wingsuit (Next-Gen Parachute System) • Z-Man Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 9
  10. 10. [ Military robotics projects ] • Ground robots • Aerial robots • Marine robots • Space robots • Immobile/fixed robots • Sentry robots • Humanoid robots • Chemical robots or “blob-bots” • Biological-machine integrations or “cyborgs” Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 10
  11. 11. [ LittleDog ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 11
  12. 12. [ Some issues ] 1. Civilian blowback 2. Culture of war 3. Other issues Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 12
  13. 13. [ 1: Civilian blowback ] Over 23 million veterans in the US today Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 13
  14. 14. [ 2: Culture of war] “It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it.” – Robert E. Lee Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 14
  15. 15. [ 3: Other issues ] • Risk • Legal • Ethical • Philosophical Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 15
  16. 16. [ Conclusion ] Military is both a driver and a potential roadblock to humanity’s evolution Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 16
  17. 17. [ Acknowledgements ] • This work is supported by: – US National Science Foundation grant numbers 0620694 (Western Michigan Univ.) and 0621021 (Dartmouth) – US Office of Naval Research grant numbers N00014-08-1-1209 and N00014-07-1-1152 (Cal Poly) – US Naval Academy, 2009-2010 ethics fellowship – Cal Poly, College of Liberal Arts and Philosophy Dept. • All images and copyrights are properties of their respective owners Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 17
  18. 18. [ Thank you! ] Dr. Patrick Lin Director, Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group California Polytechnic State Univ. (SLO) Philosophy Department palin@calpoly.edu http://ethics.calpoly.edu Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 18
  19. 19. [ ASIMO ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 19
  20. 20. [ Blob-bot ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 20
  21. 21. [ BigDog ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 21
  22. 22. [ Cyborg insects ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 22
  23. 23. [ Robot mouth ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 23
  24. 24. [ Geminoid-F ] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRs rwumQ Copyright 2010 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly 24

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