U.S. looks to escalate Niger conflict with drone strikes

While much remains unclear, more details continue to emerge regarding the Oct. 4 incident in Niger that left four U.S. Army Special Forces troops dead. One development related to the ambush near the village of Tongo Tongo stands out, however, as a textbook case of America's often disastrous approach to foreign policy -- the Trump … Continue reading U.S. looks to escalate Niger conflict with drone strikes

Elon Musk should call for a ban on self-driving Teslas

Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, made headlines in August for joining a group of leading artificial intelligence experts in calling on the United Nations to ban fully autonomous weapons systems, sometimes referred to as killer robots. Yet a recent report on another Musk venture, Tesla, Inc., highlights the somewhat contradictory nature of his … Continue reading Elon Musk should call for a ban on self-driving Teslas

Military drones could replace police helicopters within a decade

In places like Pakistan, people have grudgingly learned to live with the psychological impact of omnipresent drones. They may hate and fear the incessant buzzing of the unmanned aerial vehicles overhead -- and hate the United States all the more for having to hear it -- but on a daily basis there's not much one … Continue reading Military drones could replace police helicopters within a decade

U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’

It is no secret that the United States spends lavishly on its military, far more than any other country in the world. The reason U.S. politicians often give for this is that America faces unparalleled threats, largely from rogue non-state terrorist groups waging unconventional, asymmetric warfare against it. Yet while such groups, almost by definition, … Continue reading U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’

AI rivals nukes, DoD algorithmic warfare team leader says

As the U.S. military pushes forward with ambitious artificial intelligence initiatives, those responsible can't seem to resist describing them in unsettling terms. Col. Drew Cukor, a project manager for the new "Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team" (AWCFT) established in April, this week enthusiastically compared recent AI developments to the advent of the atomic bomb during a … Continue reading AI rivals nukes, DoD algorithmic warfare team leader says

Area 51 drone development expanding?

  Less than four years ago, the U.S. government finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51, the notorious military installation in the Nevada desert long associated with unidentified flying objects. It may be that documents mentioning the facility were declassified due to a lack of plausible deniability, given Area 51's high profile in pop culture. … Continue reading Area 51 drone development expanding?

Connecticut bill would allow lethal police drones

Last year, U.S. police used a robot to kill someone for the first time following a mass shooting in Dallas, Texas. Now, this disturbing trend towards automation in policing could move a step further towards normalization. A familiar piece of American foreign policy -- the use of lethal weaponized drones -- may become a part … Continue reading Connecticut bill would allow lethal police drones

Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

When it comes to reporting numbers of civilians and "combatants" it kills, the Pentagon attempts to paint itself in a positive light. Last summer, after the Obama administration released a report estimating that between 64 and 116 civilians had been killed in drone strikes on the president's watch, it was widely criticized for under-counting by … Continue reading Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

Drone security lags behind counter-drone tech

The US government's use of unmanned drones has been an open secret for some time. It has been over three years since President Obama admitted that multiple Americans have been killed in drone strikes overseas, and also since the FBI admitted to using surveillance drones to monitor US citizens. This year, the Pentagon has even … Continue reading Drone security lags behind counter-drone tech

Obama talks tech, cybersecurity, censorship at White House conference

President Obama spoke at the "White House Frontiers Conference" in Pennsylvania on Thursday, discussing a wide range of technology-related issues with other panelists, from artificial intelligence to healthcare to cybersecurity. If you are reading this post, though, it may be because you maintain a healthy skepticism towards the "tech sector" or the "innovation space" or … Continue reading Obama talks tech, cybersecurity, censorship at White House conference