In the last decade, robotics has moved from the world of science fiction onto the battlefield, and soon onto the home front. The U.S. military for example, went from having a handful of unarmed “drones” to more than 8,000 in the air and another 12,000 on the ground. It is joined by over 50 other nations in using military robotics, from Canada, France and the U.K., to Russia, China, and Iran. And now, this new technology is increasingly being used in fields that range from law enforcement to media.
Much like gunpowder or the steam engine, this new technology is thus posing a series of tough new questions, not just in its use, but also in its ripple effects onto the realms of politics, business, law, and ethics. Join P. W. Singer, best-selling author of the book Wired for War and consultant for groups that range from the Pentagon to the Call of Duty video game series, as he discusses the robotics revolution and the new story of technology and war that our machines are starting to write.
Peter Warren Singer, Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will be delivering the 2012 Media@McGill Beaverbrook Annual Lecture entitled, “Wired for War: Everything You Wanted to Know about Robots and War but Were Afraid to Ask.” The lecture will take place at Moot Court, Room 100, within the Faculty of Law (3660 Peel Street), on Thursday, November 29, at 6:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Singer is the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin, 2009); Children at War (Pantheon, 2005); and Corporate Warrior: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003). As the youngest scholar to be named senior fellow in Brooking’s history, he has also been mentioned on Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list, the Smithsonian Institution’s list of 100 “leading innovators in the nation,” and CNN’s “New Guard” list of the next generation of newsmakers. Singer has acted as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and the FBI, and as adviser to a host of entertainment programs – most recently for the forthcoming sequel to the popular Call of Duty games, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.