Photo by David Garry

Slaughterbots: Scary Digital Disruption

Slaughterbots

Digital disruption blossoms from a thousand sources. New technologies seem to emerge slowly and almost randomly. Then BOOM! They come together in unexpected ways. Here is something to keep you up at night.

We are near the peak of the flu season in the US. Hopefully, you’ve dodged the bullet and if not I hope you feel better. Every time the bugs hit us, we also get a dose of the “plague” and “terror” stories. We have feared that terrorists would be able to manipulate bacteria or viruses into bio-weapons on their kitchen table using technology that previously was only available to national labs. They then unleash the pale rider of the apocalypse upon us. So far that horror has not appeared (that we know of).

Now, their goals are even more achievable. But, the “bugs” are mechanical and you may think of them as mere toys. Today, any actor can create swarms of difficult to stop, small drones that could kill.

A few very recent facts for your consideration:

  • “Over one million aerial drones are now registered in the U.S.” (January 18, 2018). In 2016, it was virtually zero.
  • “Meet the world’s smallest selfie-snapping drone” – fits in the palm of your hand (November 2, 2017).
  • “China is making 1,000-UAV drone swarms now” (January 8, 2018).
  • “On the night of January 5th and into the early hours of the next day, Russian forces in Syria came under attack by a ‘massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles’ says the Russian Ministry of Defense”. (January 10, 2018)

Low Cost + Wide Availability + Miniaturization + Swarming Artificial Intelligence + Weaponization = a frightening turning point?

Elon Musk and 115 other experts are begging the UN to curtail and halt the infusion of AI into weapon systems. But they are thinking linearly about today’s military systems being made smarter and worse: autonomous – no more humans in the kill loop. All well and good but let’s jump off the straight-line extrapolations and imagine something more radical. Forget Skynet and the Terminator – that is a so 20th century way of thinking about the implications of digital advances in warfare. Ours is now a world of guerilla warfare and non-state actors where plentiful, cheap, tiny, smart and deadly drones point a disturbing part of our digital future.

We’re talking about a dramatic departure brought about by digital technologies that most people carry in their pocket or purse. Your smartphone has GPS (location awareness); powerful long lasting batteries, intense processing power; an excellent camera (and soon: facial recognition), and of course it communicates! These tiny, cheap and ubiquitously available components gave rise to the whole hobbyist drone movement.

By John Pientka

John Pientka

John is currently the principal of Pientka and Associates which specializes in IT and Cloud Computing.

Over the years John has been vice president at CGI Federal, where he lead their cloud computing division. He founded and served as CEO of GigEpath, which provided communication solutions to major corporations. He has also served as president of British Telecom’s outsourcing arm Syncordia, vice president and general manager of a division at Motorola.

John has earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree from the State University in Buffalo, New York.

View Website
Get Used To It – Artificial Intelligence For Real-time Gas Pricing

Get Used To It – Artificial Intelligence For Real-time Gas Pricing

Real-time Gas Pricing Get used to it – we will extract every dollar you can afford at your friendly … ...
5 Ways the Cloud and IoT Have Transformed the Transportation Industry

5 Ways the Cloud and IoT Have Transformed the Transportation Industry

IoT Transportation Industry The Internet of Things has caused many industries to evolve - but few more than transportation. Here ...
Metal Detecting Drone

The Rise Of The Metal Detecting Drone

Metal Detecting Drone Look up in the sky; it's a bird, no it's a plane. No, it is a swarm ...
The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have ...
Will Chatbots Finally Make Mobile Payments Popular?

Will Chatbots Finally Make Mobile Payments Popular?

The Future of Chatbots We’ve profiled several digital wallet platforms that aim to change how we make payments. Apple, Samsung, ...
Through the Looking Glass: 2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions

Through the Looking Glass: 2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions

2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions As we close out 2016, which didn’t start off very well for tech IPOs, ...
Using IoT and Wearables as Part of the Customer Experience

Wearable Tech For Those With Disabilities: Shaping the Future

Wearable Tech For Those With Disabilities Wearable tech is one of the most exciting aspects of the rapidly growing tech ...
How Brands Can Use IoT and Wearables to Enhance Customer Experience

How Brands Can Use IoT and Wearables to Enhance Customer Experience

Using IoT and Wearables as Part of the Customer Experience The IoT and wearables are on the verge of completely ...
10 Ways The Enterprise Can Prevent Data Leaks In The Cloud

10 Ways The Enterprise Can Prevent Data Leaks In The Cloud

Prevent Data Leaks In The Cloud More companies are turning to the cloud for storage. In fact, over 60 percent ...
Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Traditional Enterprise Storage Back in 2003, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black, two engineers working for Amazon.com, proposed a dramatic overhaul ...