Robot Generals: Will They Make Better Decisions than Humans or Worse? – Global Research


26-08-20 04:42:00,

With Covid-19 incapacitating startling numbers of U.S. service members and modern weapons proving increasingly lethal, the American military is relying ever more frequently on intelligent robots to conduct hazardous combat operations. Such devices, known in the military as “autonomous weapons systems,” include robotic sentries, battlefield-surveillance drones, and autonomous submarines. So far, in other words, robotic devices are merely replacing standard weaponry on conventional battlefields. Now, however, in a giant leap of faith, the Pentagon is seeking to take this process to an entirely new level — by replacing not just ordinary soldiers and their weapons, but potentially admirals and generals with robotic systems.

Admittedly, those systems are still in the development stage, but the Pentagon is now rushing their future deployment as a matter of national urgency. Every component of a modern general staff — including battle planning, intelligence-gathering, logistics, communications, and decision-making — is, according to the Pentagon’s latest plans, to be turned over to complex arrangements of sensors, computers, and software. All these will then be integrated into a “system of systems,” now dubbed the Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control, or JADC2 (since acronyms remain the essence of military life). Eventually, that amalgam of systems may indeed assume most of the functions currently performed by American generals and their senior staff officers.

The notion of using machines to make command-level decisions is not, of course, an entirely new one. It has, in truth, been a long time coming. During the Cold War, following the introduction of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with extremely short flight times, both military strategists and science-fiction writers began to imagine mechanical systems that would control such nuclear weaponry in the event of human incapacity.

In Stanley Kubrick’s satiric 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove, for example, the fictional Russian leader Dimitri Kissov reveals that the Soviet Union has installed a “doomsday machine” capable of obliterating all human life that would detonate automatically should the country come under attack by American nuclear forces. Efforts by crazed anti-Soviet U.S. Air Force officers to provoke a war with Moscow then succeed in triggering that machine and so bring about human annihilation. In reality, fearing that they might experience a surprise attack of just this sort,

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Robot Uses Face Scanning AI To Ask People To Wear A Mask


06-08-20 06:52:00,

By Paul Joseph Watson of SummitNews

With masks now becoming mandatory in many countries inside supermarkets, public buildings and transport systems, SoftBank Robotics Europe has reprogrammed its “cutesy” Pepper android to help enforce the new rules.

A video demonstration shows the robot scanning people’s faces and then telling individuals not wearing a mask to put one on, while thanking those who are already wearing them.

“Using an image recognition AI and Single Shot Detector, Pepper can scan the faces of up to five people at once,” reports Engadget.

“On Pepper’s tablet, a green circle will appear around an image of anyone wearing a mask, and a red circle will appear around the image of anyone without a mask. Pepper can thank people for wearing masks or remind someone to put a face covering on.”

The company asserts that no personal data is used or stored, although face scanning technology is widely used by both companies and governments in dictatorial states like China to enforce compliance and punish social credit score dissenters.

The efficacy of masks continues to be hotly debated, with experts in both the Netherlands and Sweden saying they are pointless while others arguing that they may even help spread the disease because wearers touch them often and are more likely to ignore social distancing.

In a wider context, the mask has become a symbol of compliance while also facilitating many to virtue signal and express righteously indignant and sometimes violent vitriol towards refusniks.

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‘Robot Bows, Customer Bows’ – Sushi Bar Deploys Robotic Arm For Contactless Pickup Orders


15-05-20 07:17:00,

OpenTable restaurant data continues to show most foot traffic at eateries across America at near zero. There are some signs of life in Naples, Tampa, Houston, and Dallas. But for most of the country, pickup or curbside delivery has been the norm for the last several months. 

At Bleu Sushi in Philadelphia, those who are picking up delivery are now greeted with a robot arm that will hand them their order. This allows owner Hendra Yong and his staff to practice strict “safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic while also having a little fun,” said Eater Philly

“We wanted to keep serving customers, in a safe way. So we came up with this idea. I can see people’s surprise when they come because no one else is doing this,” Yong said. 

Bleu Sushi owner Hendra Yong with his newest employee, Bleu Bot. h/t Eater Philly Rachel Vigoda 

“When the robot bows, the customer bows,” he said. “It’s kind of funny to watch.”

Yong ordered the robot from Japan with the purpose of contactless pickup. He said there are still many functions that he’s trying to figure out but says the robot is here to stay. 

I was out delivering food last night and bleu sushi has this neat ass social distancing robot

— big naturals (@luifarted) May 3, 2020

This #restaurant #bleusushi takes #SocialDistanacing to another level! #pma #coronavirus #rad #robots #messlife #food #delivery #bikemessenger #takeout #essential

— Joe Cox Activist for an Equitable Philadelphia (@Joecoxactivist) April 28, 2020

Ready for some high tech take-out? This robot at Bleu Sushi in Center City has you covered. Customer: It makes me happy inside to know this is where we’re at. That I can just pull up to a place and this random robot is going to hand me my food. @NBCPhiladelphia Tonight at 11

— Denise Nakano (@DeniseNakanoTV) May 6, 2020

In the last month,

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“Meet The Global Robot Army That’s Been Deployed To Fight COVID-19


06-04-20 12:38:00,

In addition to the selfless human heroes who continue to fight the unprecedented global pandemic on its front-lines, there has also been a lesser covered group of virus-fighters, dutifully going about their daily tasks to help battle the virus.

We’re referring to the global robot army that has been deployed to fight the virus.

Robots worldwide are doing everything from bathing surfaces with radiation, sanitizing floors, scanning for fevers, spewing anti-microbial gas and enforcing mask wearing, according to the WSJ. Many of the robots are being put to work in areas where humans haven’t tread yet, especially in areas like hospital cleaning.

For example, at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, there’s a robot that disinfects and dispensing germ-killing fluid from its tanks. The robot weighs 1,050 pounds and is equipped with AI and a bank of cameras and sensors. Similar robots are already being used en masse at Changi in Singapore.

When the outbreak happened in China, UBTech Robotics, based in Shenzhen, China, developed a program to modify its robots to battle the virus. They attached a disinfectant sprayer to their Atris outdoor robot, which allows it to spray in public places. 

They have also modified two other models, the Cruzr and Aimbot, to be able to take people’s temperature using thermal cameras. The robot’s object-recognition algorithms allow them to also determine whether or not a person is wearing a mask.

Other robots are using UV light in indoor spaces to disinfect. UVC lights have long been used in hospitals to disinfect and sanitize rooms. Since the lights are harmful to humans (but also lethal to microbes), no humans can be in the room while disinfecting is taking place.

UVC lights can clean an entire room in anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the strength of the bulb being used. They can also reach surfaces often missed by human cleaners and kill airborne microbes – a feature that could come in hand if the coronavirus is spreading by people breathing in particles in indoor spaces.

Companies like UVD Robots, launched in Denmark in 2014, are working to try and implement these lights in a safe way for humans,

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Will Robot Tractors Save America’s Farming Industry After It Crashes?


18-05-19 05:39:00,

Agriculture automation has the potential to reshape the farming industry in the 2020s and beyond.

A new analysis from Bloomberg shows robot farm equipment is becoming commercially available, which means tractors will have no cabs – able to spray, plant, plow, and weed cropland with artificial intelligence.

Autonomous farming is a popular theme among all farming equipment manufacturers. Several years ago, the Australian government studied robot tractors from John Deere, Case New Holland, CNH Industrial, AGCO, CLAAS, Same Deutz-Fahr, and Kubota. The key takeaway from the matrix below is that Deere and CNH are leading when it comes to making tractors fully autonomous, with both companies having released working prototypes.

Bloomberg notes that several startups in Canada and Australia have already made their autonomous farm equipment commercially available.

In Saskatchewan, a Canadian province that borders the US, Dot Technology Corp. sold fully autonomous power platforms for the spring planting season.

In Australia, SwarmFarm Robotic is selling weed-killing robots that can also mow and spread. These companies say their new machines are much smaller and efficient than traditional field equipment.

Sam Bradford, a farm manager at Arcturus Downs in Australia’s Queensland state, was one of the first adopters of SwarmFarm’s robots last year. He has four truck-sized weed-killing robots to manage thousands of acres.

Before, Bradford had used a Case Patriot 4430 Sprayer with a 120-foot boom that “looks like a massive praying mantis.” It would cover the field in chemicals, he said.

However, robots are more precise than traditional sprayers. Bradford said his robots work 20,000 acres, will save him 80% of his chemical costs.

“The savings on chemicals is huge, but there’s also savings for the environment from using less chemicals and you’re also getting a better result in the end,” said Bradford, who’s run the farm for about 10 years. Surrounding rivers run out to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s eastern cost, making the farm particularly sensitive over its use of chemicals, he said.

Costs savings have become important as a deepening trade war has sparked a potential agriculture recession in the US.

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