Defense Department, tech

Inventor of self-checkout says robots will replace soldiers

Howard S. Smith, founder of Optimal Robotics, the company that invented and marketed the first grocery store self-checkout system, has also written a redux of Issac Asimov’s “I Robot”. In an interview with GCN’s Patrick Marshall, he warned of the rapid coming of the robot soldier:

Robots will make war much easier. If machines were a little bit farther along you probably wouldn’t have all the outrage about Iraq. You still have some leftist groups upset, but probably most of the population wouldn’t care. That’s going to happen in a few years. It’s a horrible idea that we create these machines, but from a military point of view the machines work.

Sure, robots are going to play an important role on the battlefield, and already are. But are we just living in James Cameron’s world at this point? Um…no. Yes, robots are doing more to help. But the robot’s role in the new hybrid warfare model — which includes a strong element of relationship building — isn’t something that Packbot can exactly pull off.

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