“[Singer's] enthusiasm becomes infectious . . . Wired for War is a book of its time: this is strategy for the Facebook generation.” —Foreign Affairs
“An engrossing picture of a new class of weapon that may revolutionize future wars. . .” —Kirkus Reviews
P. W. Singer explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: the dawn of robotic warfare
We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator. Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amazing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Travelling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day "skunk works" in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalise a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.
Brookings Institute fellow Singer (Children at War) believes that "we resist trying to research and understand change" in the making of war. Robotics promises to be the most comprehensive instrument of change in war since the introduction of gunpowder. Beginning with a brief and useful survey of robotics, Singer discusses its military applications during WWII, the arming and autonomy of robots at the turn of the century, and the broad influence of robotics on near-future battlefields. How, for example, can rules of engagement for unmanned autonomous machines be created and enforced? Can an artificial intelligence commit a war crime? Arguably more significant is Singer's provocative case that war itself will be redefined as technology creates increasing physical and emotional distance from combat. As robotics diminishes war's risks the technology diminishes as well the higher purposes traditionally used to justify it. Might that reduce humanity's propensity for war making? Or will robotics make war less humane by making it less human? Singer has more questions than answers but it is difficult to challenge his concluding admonition to question and study the technologies of military robotics while the chance remains.
Singer is an amazing author, this book is amazing and eye opening to just how close we really are to a future where robots are completely integrated into our lives. No waiting 400 years for DATA to be built. More like 30 years!