Science Fiction before our eyes – robot dogs in the army
Netflix fans should not be surprised by the sight of militant cybercops. Perhaps it is not the mere sight of them that is surprising, but where they could be seen. Well, it wasn’t another episode of Black Mirror, but a U.S. Army Air Force airfield!
Robopsy, a vision straight from Netflix
In pop culture, we collide with the sight of bold and daring things. Surprising combinations, unrealistic inventions or unlikely coincidences are what build the world of entertainment, and especially when it comes to science fiction. Although in the case of this particular faction, the authors have repeatedly succeeded in predicting the development of mankind, based on inferences about the state of development of temporal technology. Phones in “Star Trek,” VR in “Reaper of the Mind,” and in Lem’s “The Futurological Congress” we can find a message about doubting the veracity of perception and whether a world that is a product of a psychoactive substance is worth considering as real in the face of the human desire for happiness and the fact that it is itself a product of its sensory. The question of the legitimacy of using techniques that appeal to emotions and stimuli will be very important in the era of the development of transhumanism and metaverses. This era is already knocking on our doors, getting louder and louder, and who knows if it doesn’t have a battering ram with it.
Science Fiction is also a contemporary series, which on the Netflix platform show us what we may face in the near future. Transhumanism is being talked about more and more often, but transanamism is omitted in the debate, and we can see it already for years. A robot friend of man is, for example, the one from the already four-year-old film “A.X.L.”. However, such friendly robops in pop culture are rare.
What a surprise, then, must have felt fans of the mini-series “Love, Death and Robots” who seeing the new American equipment, have in mind the episode “Life Hutch”, in which a similar dog posed a deadly threat to one of the shipwrecked.
Another example also from the Netflix universe is the series “Black Mirror”, and more specifically the episode “Metalhead”. In both cases, a mechanical robot powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning is trying to take the breath away from the main characters, who live in some sort of post apocalyptic world – most likely dominated by smart devices. The vision can be awe-inspiring, especially when very similar machines start stepping on the ground in real life.
Ghost Robotics robot dogs have been deployed as patrol units at Tyndall US Air Force (USAF) base. Image: Ghost Robotics
Metal dogs in the service of the US Air Force
– Traveling with soldiers aboard a C-130 aircraft, the four-legged robots left the machine before humans in order to “secure the perimeter” and look out for possible threats – concluded the U.S. Air Force in a press release.
As reported by Focus.pl, new devices in the form of cybernetic quadrupeds are to be an additional element of the advanced battlefield management system, or ABMS. The states are expected to spend $3.3 billion over the next 5 years for this purpose. In terms of this project, the U.S. government plans to support border agents with advanced drones and armed dogs capable of patrolling the border and supporting reconnaissance efforts to respond to illegal immigrant activity and organized crime. – The dogs provide optical reconnaissance of the immediate area of operations allowing soldiers to stay closer to their aircraft – explained to reporters Senior Master Sergeant Lee Boston of the Air Force’s 621st Crisis Response Group.
And while for now the Vision 60 UGVs (that’s what they’re called) are said to use artificial intelligence and deep data analytics to support patrols, The Verge mentions that there have already been prototypes equipped with firearms and capable of firing shots.
The producer has so far assured that the dogs are great from an operational point of view, as they can navigate any type of surface that a human can walk on. They can navigate any terrain while wearing any set of sensors and relays. They can be autonomous machines and can also be controlled remotely by agents.
Similar machines have been showcased before, and like today, they were impressive then as well. In 2018, Boston Dynamics showed off the capabilities of its hardware. The dog was able to walk on four legs, or rather prosthetic legs, and had an extractor in place of its mouth, able to grasp objects, so it could even open doors or carry objects.
The robots walked a little awkwardly, but they made a huge impression, inspiring terror in some Internet users, especially since the robot’s premiere took place shortly after the premiere of “Hutch,” and the Internet was abuzz that the series had inspired the creators of the technological animal.
Is one of the episodes from one of the television series coming true before our eyes?? In addition to the tech aspect, The Verge also addresses the sociological problem of dehumanizing people. Robots lack the emotional perception of humans, which will allow them to behave inhumanely towards people who come across their path. What’s more, this is just a symptom, not a cause. Dehumanizing people from across America’s southern border has long been the order of the day, and it’s doing very well, so there’s a lot of abuse of those who want to cross the border. The situation certainly doesn’t resemble the one we have in Poland, although who knows, maybe in light of recent events some people could say that we could use such mechanical pets.