The Atlas robotic android can be a recruit in the US military anytime it wants, according to the parent company.
Google bought Boston Dynamics once upon a time. This company was the maker of the series of Atlas robots which happened to be the most powerful androids on the face of the earth.
Google laid down the stipulation way back then that Boston Dynamics would stop signing military contracts, according to Gizmodo. Yet today the Atlas robot can join any military operation it wants to under the guidance of the parent company.
The reason behind this is that high tech exchange works both ways. Mostly it has been thought that technology is shifted from the public to the private sector. The Internet is a fine example of this.
The American government engages in ten thousand studies and experiments having to do with warcraft and spycraft. Ultimately, most of the concomitant technology makes its way to the homes of consumers in the form of appliances.
However, when the government does this in a conscious manner, it is termed a dual-use technology. The US government can definitely purchase and improve upon technology produced by private companies if it wants to.
It is being increasingly felt that this is a crucial factor for the defense industry in its road to progress. Especially, since government spending on R&D has gone down the drain, this is a vital source of regeneration on a technological level.
After WWII, less R&D was being done by the private sector and more by the US government. Today, this relationship is the exact opposite.
When Boston Dynamics merged with Google, the director of DAARPA was asked whether Google was serious competition for the development of novel technology. The answer was that Google was worried about the issues the global village was facing.
The director had said that the company was selling with profits in mind while from their own perspective it was more about national security. The building of robots as supporting agents for military personal in war was a touchy topic.
If there is a problem with this it lies in the fact that the whole scenario is kind of scary. What brutality and savagery AI is capable of lies in the nightmarish dystopian vision portrayed by the movie Robocop.
The robotic android Atlas can be used for good or evil and the choice remains with us alone as human beings. To destroy society is a very real possibility and so care is of the essence.
The US military was interested and looked into the matter with curiosity. Were humans left out of the equation in the robotic and drone wars of the future, it would be like removing the factor of empathy from the mix.
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This could have devastating consequences. While Atlas robots could work for the good guys, they could also just as easily work for the bad guys. Imagine if a terrorist organization were to get hold of one!?