Skynet Expands Potential

20:11 Sun 13 May 2007
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As reported by The Register, The UK Ministry of Defence is running a satellite network that will be used to control unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drones… and the name of the network? Skynet. Presumably killer androids who like phased plasma rifles in the forty-watt range will be added to the network soon…

In fact, the UK MoD network was called Skynet long before the films. But it’s definitely an unfortunate coincidence to have your military communications network share a name with a popular culture reference to a fictional network that becomes self-aware and then comes rather close to wiping out humanity.

In the time since I first saw the movie, I’ve come to be a lot less optimistic about computer technology (working in the industry helps make one’s assessments more realistic), and now I’m far more worried about catastrophic screw-ups and incompetence in the “secure, proprietary” comms system that’s running the unmanned drones. I don’t think that the network, or the drones, are likely to achieve self-consciousness and turn against their makers anytime soon, but they might well suffer from any number of other flaws that could prove lethal.

Naturally, the Terminator references aren’t complete without links to Fantasy Bedtime Hour Episode 5, (annotated here), or to this Bob the Angry Flower strip.

Naturally, I’m sure that all of my readers will welcome our new AI overlords…

2 Responses to “Skynet Expands Potential”

  1. Eoin Says:

    Sheeeet! Gonna have to learn how to make those pipe bombs!!!

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Heh. Start doing that and you might get locked up well in advance of any of the AI wars… also, such things wouldn’t be useful against the unmanned bomber drones, They might be useful against Terminator-style units, but there we have this issue: how likely are we to be in one of the universes where one of them is sent back in time? (Yes, I am making assumptions about time travel creating alternate universes…)

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