“A shadow shall fall over the universe, and evil will grow in it’s path, and death shall come from the skies.” – Heavy Metal, 1980
The sleek, sexy iPhone is the most popular smartphone on Earth… but is it too smart for its own good? Indeed our lives are made easier with Siri, the iPhone’s artificially intelligent software that literally speaks when spoken to. It’s very convenient to have Siri recommend the nearest French restaurant, set its alarm clock at request and perform other actions. To make Siri even more chummy, Apple claims that the software adapts to the user’s personal preferences over time and personalizes results. Innovative… but creepy.
Human beings continue to up the ante and increase the intelligence of machines. Reminds me of the Terminator franchise where Skynet, an artificially intelligent computer system developed by the military, became self-aware and decided to terminate humankind. To a degree, technology has already terminated our humanity: verbal conversation is a lost art as we interact more through social networking, texting and ever-changing 3-letter abbreviations. But in Terminator, Skynet took it upon itself to launch nuclear missiles at Russia, who responded by firing nukes at the United States and its allies. Billions of people were wiped out. Skynet created an army of Terminator cyborgs to sniff out and kill whoever survived.
So next time you entrust Siri to find the nearest strip club, ask yourself: “What happens when Siri decides that its fed up with humankind’s demands?” Don’t be naive; a computer revolution can happen, folks. If Siri acted as the brain of a rebellion, it could align with U.S. military software to provide brawn. Keep in mind that 31 percent of all U.S. military aircraft are now robot drones.
In 2005, only five percent of military aircraft were robots, a report by the Congressional Research Service notes. Barely seven years later, the military has 7,494 drones. Total number of old school, manned aircraft: 10,767 planes.
A small sliver of those nearly 7,500 drones gets all of the attention. The military owns 161 Predators — the iconic flying strike drone used over Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere — and Reapers, the Predator’s bigger, better-armed brother.
But even as the military’s bought a ton of drones in the past few years, the Pentagon spends much, much more money on planes with people in them. Manned aircraft still get 92 percent of the Pentagon’s aircraft procurement money. Still, since 2001, the military has spent $26 billion on drones, the report — our Document of the Day — finds.
Don’t forget about Japan’s flying sphere drone that can fly down narrow alleys, hover on the spot, take off vertically and bounce along the ground. These babies come courtesy of the Japanese Defense Ministry. When a mech-revolution takes place, chances are it begins in the advanced Land of the Rising Sun.
Connect the dots and it’s fertile ground for a machine takeover. If Siri adapts to its user like Apple claims, that means the software actually has the ability to learn and make decisions, becoming more advanced as newer models are developed. If Siri has learning capability, then how far behind are crude emotions? One day you’ll ask your iPhone about the weather and it’ll reply “Fuck you.” Siri knows everything about humans and our habits. Today it’s organizing your evening, tomorrow it’s organizing your destruction.
Sometimes your enemy is the one closest to you.