Man From the High Plains

Could the man from the High Plains be right? Could computers become more autonomous because they have been programmed to play chess? Before laughing consider this article that appeared on the Defense One website yesterday, October 8, 2013, “Why America Wants Drones That Can Kill Without Humans.” http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2013/10/ready-lethal-autonomous-robot-drones/71492/ This a day after I published the comments of Mr. Vest concerning the possibility of computers “…becoming sentient entities.”
The article begins, “Scientists, engineers and policymakers are all figuring out ways drones can be used better and more smartly, more precise and less damaging to civilians, with longer range and better staying power. One method under development is by increasing autonomy on the drone itself.
Eventually, drones may have the technical ability to make even lethal decisions autonomously: to respond to a programmed set of inputs, select a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result. Yet the idea of the U.S. military deploying a lethal autonomous robot, or LAR, is sparking controversy. Though autonomy might address some of the current downsides of how drones are used, they introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.”
You better believe that if DARPA realized chess could be utilized for such nefarious purposes, it would not hesitate in so doing. As a matter of fact, if the Men in Black read this, it is possible chess has seen the last of the High Plains Drifter. There will be some kind of cover story while the HPD is placed in the bowels of some secret government location, so secret even most in government have never heard of it-so secret there are not even any rumors of it-where he will be wired to the collective while they extract any and everything in his brain, for the good of mankind, naturally.

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