Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The future of warfare

It's nice to hope that new technologies will be used for good positive and desirable aims and that wars, famines and other undesirable situations won't occur ... but of course the real world is somewhat different. Future significant wars will as likely be about resources such as water rather than oil and take place as much online as in a traditional theatre. The development of cyber-warfare is rather exemplified by a recent article by BBC News about the US DoD's preparation.

Most people's view of and worry about internet crime is something to do with attempts to attack personal privacy through online purchasing or banking and spoof emails attempting to phish information in order to exploit ID theft. But the bigger criminal threats online are the organised mafia crime gangs who use the as a weapon to extaught money and threaten to bring down websites and systems that large organisations and national security depend on. The use of networks of hundreds of thousands of auto (ro)bots which can be remote controlled in a non-centralised fashion to execute such attacks means that the security authorities are constantly busy in combating these threats.

Some physical robotic technology is already employed in the middle-east conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but more of this will be obvious in future. Robots will be sent into battle to take strategic targets without endangering humans, especially if mass destruction weapons are used. Networks of robots will form armies that fight the physical battles while computers fight other computers in cyber warfare. Let's hope the goodies win!

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