I think cyber security and warfare will be more important than the lock on our doors or troops on the ground. Perhaps it is for the better too. Less deaths mean more people are given the chance to prosper and create.
Thanks for this report, Cabe. Fascinating stuff, and scary to learn that cyber-attacks may be interpreted as formal declarations of war. But I can't agree that more people are a good thing when overpopulation is directly related to the number and scope of the planet's environmental problems.
Ann, you are certainly correct. But I can assure you that cyberwar is, at least so far, more humane than the military bullets and bombs type of warfare. Of course that may change if some decide to hack into all of he various robotic things that are in use. Just consider what it could do to a portion of the power grid if somebody were able to switch everything off and on at the same time, and then started cycling it with a three second period. Probably they could take down any grid that thy attacked, and also do a lot of damage to individual systems. Possibly a different cycle rate would be more damaging, but that one certainly could cause problems.
William, I was responding to Cabe's statement that "Less deaths mean more people are given the chance to prosper and create." which sounded to me like it implied that it's OK for more people to live and reproduce. I know he didn't say that, but more people actually means a lot more people, since reproducing is one of the things humans (or any other animals) do when we prosper.
@Ann: There are definite social, economic, and ecological advantages to smaller family sizes. However, discussions of overpopulation are often problematic.
El Salvador, with 761 people per square mile, is often considered to be "overpopulated," while countries with higher population densities (such as Belgium, with 945 people per square mile, or the Netherlands, with 1287 people per square mile) are not.
Many of the countries with the highest population densities (Monaco, Singapore, Bahrain, Malta, Taiwan, etc.) have relatively high standards of living, while many of the countries with the lowest population densities (Mongolia, Western Sahara, Namibia, etc.) have very low standards of living.
That's not to say that there are no limits to population growth, but I think most of the resource problems in today's world are more related to the distribution of resources (wasteful overconsumption in some places, while others don't have enough), rather than the total number of mouths to feed.
The idea that there is anything good about people dying in war is rather horrifying.
You are certainly correct about the idea of people dying in war being horrifying. It goes way beyond horrifying: remember, somebody said that " war is hell", but my opinion is that it is way worse than that. But please, don't anyone take that as a heresy or an attack on anybody's religious beliefs.
My assertion is based on the reality that you don't have to die to go to war, and that sometimes it sticks to you even if you do come back.
But as soon as there is found a way to link computers to our brains, which some are working toward even now, cyber warfare will take a large step toward being just as nasty as the gun and bomb type of warfare. That will be one of those "unintended consequences" that people were not thinking about as they blasted the lid off of Pandoras box. ( That reference to Greek mythology is a very handy way to describe a concept.) I hope that a few other people consider that reality. PLEASE!!
William, thanks for an eloquent description. I have been close to men who served in Vietnam, as friends and boyfriends. My father was at Guadacanal in WWII. I know what bringing it home means. I also like your reference to Pandora's Box--good metaphor.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.