People-hunting killer robots

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It's not bad enough that we have a federal government that feels free to wiretap anyone and everyone anytime they damned well feel like it, and locks people up for years without ever charging them. Now they're out to kill us with robots.

Maybe it's time to take your paranoia seriously, because this week, Scott Thill, writing on Alternet, reported that the Pentagon's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program recently called for contractors to design packs of robots for the purpose of — get this — hunting down "non-cooperative human subject[s]."

Here's more paranoia fodder: when the Pentagon realized the project was mentioned on its Web site, it pulled it immediately — but not before the writer downloaded the whole thing. According to the SBIR's specs, the "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" would contain "a software and sensor package to enable a team of robots to search for and detect human presence in an indoor environment."

So are your friends and mine at the Pentagon bringing to life sci-fi movies about armed robots and killer artificial intelligence? Are machine armies and murderous cyborg gangs in our future? Whether the answer is yes or no, the Pentagon wants to pay someone here and now to come up with working models. Welcome to the exciting, new world of mixing videogame mindsets with Pentagon pork.

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