Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters reclaimed a strategic northwestern town from Damascus forces on Thursday, opposition activists said, according to The Associated Press. The move cut off an important highway only days after the government reopened it for the first time since 2012. … [Read more...] about Germany says Syria and Russia responsible for Idlib ‘war crimes’
Attack pearl harbor
Taylor is also using Shapeways, and other prints shops, to develop a bespoke doll that you create on-line, but she is one of the few manufacturers that wants to continue using 3D printing for the customer-facing product. "The benefit of this technology is that we can make every doll unique if we want to," she explains. "So people can customise their doll to look like themselves, or a favourite celebrity if they want to." The downside of using 3D printing to build each and every doll is the cost, although Taylor says this is dropping rapidly, and also sourcing the right colours and materials. "It's really, really hard," she says. "If you want to make a traditional doll you'd go to factory in China and have a standard model tweaked. But with our doll we are literally starting from scratch, as we need to find plastics, joints and colours that will work with 3D printing. We are really pushing things." … [Read more...] about Could 3D printing end our throwaway culture?
The issue is autonomous strike – that is, a robot making its own firing decision – and here opinions differ. An MoD spokesperson told me via email that, in attack roles, "there will remain an enduring need for appropriately trained human involvement" in operating UAVs "for the foreseeable future". Dahm believes the USAF holds the same view, though it appears to be lost in its latest UAV Flight Plan. "Increasingly, humans will no longer be 'in the loop' but rather 'on the loop' – monitoring the execution of certain decisions," it reads. "Simultaneously, advances in AI will enable systems to make combat decisions… without necessarily requiring human input." It adds, however: "Authorising a machine to make lethal combat decisions is contingent upon political and military leaders resolving legal and ethical questions." … [Read more...] about Rise of the robots and the future of war
"It is essential that before unmanned systems become ubiquitous (if it is not already too late) … we ensure that, by removing some of the horror, or at least keeping it at a distance, we do not risk losing our controlling humanity and make war more likely," warns the report, titled The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems. MoD officials have never before grappled so frankly with the ethics of the use of drones. The report was ordered by Britain's defence chiefs, and coincides with continuing controversy about drones' use in Afghanistan, and growing Pakistani anger at CIA drone attacks against suspected insurgents on the Afghan borders. … [Read more...] about The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots
The report warned of the dangers of an "incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality", referring to James Cameron's 1984 movie, in which humans are hunted by robotic killing machines. It said the pace of technological development was accelerating at such a rate that Britain must quickly establish a policy on what will constitute "acceptable machine behaviour". … [Read more...] about Rise of the drones poses growing dilemma for military