November 30th, 2012
06:02 PM ET

Pentagon worried about real 'Terminators'

Behind every Hellfire missile, there's an actual human being remotely pulling the trigger. But the Pentagon is preparing for the day when robots are capable of targeting and launching a strike on their own.

CNN's Chris Lawrence reports on the Pentagon's new rules on drones, effectively forbidding the development of lethal weapons with no human control.

soundoff (55 Responses)
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    August 16, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Reply
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    thanks for beneficial suggestions and basically good info Mimodoshichitokufu

    April 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply

    Pakistan is a nuclear terrorist country and people of pakistan intelligence agencies are nuclear terrorist because they get born after #$%$ their own mothers be ware of them and tell this to the whole world if you want to save the world .that is why i "love" pakistan

    December 28, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
  4. The Mayor of Medinah

    We already have these now don't we

    December 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  5. Borg

    Resistance is futile.....

    December 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  6. david clements

    ummm...i remember a movie called WAR GAMES back in the 1980's. so to me, ancient news...lmao

    December 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • CT Phantom Band

      In 1980 I wrote a short story about machines with AI taking over so this is old hat to me as well:-)

      December 30, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
  7. tipsandtricks1

    Since when have rules stopped the pentagon from extrajudicial killing, the CIA from assassination, or the National Security Agency from spying on the emails of Americans?

    December 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • Banana Juice

      Destroy all enemies and let God sort them out !!!!!

      December 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  8. eltons_johnson

    The decision to end a human's life should NEVER be automated.

    December 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  9. Rick

    The Pentagon should be worried about military contractors. Obviously the people who run the Pentagon these days are defense lobbyists not Generals.

    December 13, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  10. Sarah Connor

    If terminators ever exist, the Pentagon will be first to deploy them. The only thing the Pentagon is "worried" about is how much it would cost to build them.

    December 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      I second this. If the Pentagon was really worried about this they wouldn't be funding it to the tune of billions a year.

      December 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  11. J G

    The Matrix and Terminator? Foreshadowing of a dim future?

    December 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • HAL9000

      @J G: future looks pretty bright from here. Matrix and Terminator are just entertainment. Humans never build machines that they cannot turn off, because every machine requires maintenance. We can never build perfect machines because we ourselves are imperfect. We can build machines that are faster and stronger than we are. That's easy, because metal is more durable than flesh. But we cannot build machines that are smarter than we are. Our most advanced computers are only about as smart as grasshoppers. Man will always be master of machines. And machines will do what they've always done: make our lives easier.

      December 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Reply
      • miguel


        I remember people saying that steam locomotives would never be faster, stronger, or more economical than horses.....

        December 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
      • james

        We ARE machines, just not in the typical Orwellian sense were smooth-faced metal life forms controlled by the government kill beyond lifeless eyes. Perhaps one day our own evolution will make us gods

        December 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Banana Juice

        Hello, wake up are you there ????

        December 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
      • CT Phantom Band

        Currently you are correct, however, research in AI may prove you wrong in the future. Further, it is not that big of a stretch to conceive of robots that can perform maintenance on other machines and robots. The accelerated pace of technology has already outstripped our ability to understand the full ramifications of our own creation. Yesterdays science fiction has a way of becoming today's science and technology. Revisit the book called Future Shock:-)

        December 30, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  12. NeoGraphix

    Drones with no human control would be an answer to the problem of war not an issue. Only man starts wars.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  13. Skorpio

    Every MUSLIM CLERIC is a "REAL TERMINATOR" these rats have the power to incite the masses to commit all kinds of atrocities. As opposed to any other religion, Islamic clerics and devout Muslims are the most perverse, intolerant, discriminatory, violent and irrational people. Behind every evil act there is always an Islamic cleric.

    December 4, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • JH

      Really skorpio? Really?

      I doubt you're capable of reading, considering your ignorant rant... but perhaps you'd like to learn a little bit about some of the other 'intollerant' religions of the world.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • miguel

      I think you should replace muslim by, "clergy controlled organized religion" through out history, at one point or another clergy have abbetted the abuse and violence of despots in return for favorts to their own position. From the days of the pherros of egypt to this day, and probably for however long the human species remains (which might be a shorter time than most of us expect).

      December 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • Banana Juice

      Don't tell the muslim clerics, but they ran out of virgins ten years ago.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  14. George Winton, Vicksburg Mississippi

    We already have the hardware to make terminators. The problem right now is the artificial intelligence capability. I have worked on some very interesting projects and it is amazing advanced tactical robotics have come. In reality, once we have the level of artificial intelligence required, deployment of reasoning self adjusting combat units will be an inevitable accomplishment. The problem with maintaining control of such units from a distance is that it introduces a "TIME LAG" between military opportunities to destroy the enemy and the required response. Naive people worry that if we leave deployed units with control from a remote location that these units might turn against a friendly. We can program this to the hardwiring of such units in order to prevent this from occuring so there is no need to worry.

    December 4, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Robert Gemerek

      theres nothing to worry about? the danger of robots arnt that theyll attack "a friendly" its that they will destroy or enslave all of humanity. the more advanced anything becomes, the harder it is to control.....ive seen robots that can run like cheetahs and ones that walk on 4 imagine one that can launch nukes aka metal gear say their is quite alot to be worried about given humans history of trial and error....we launched 2 nukes before effectively outlawing them. will it take accidently losing control of an army of terminators for people to recognize the inherint danger of robotics and technology?

      December 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  15. U.S. Navy Vet

    Fact: The Science of warfare and the progress of weapons development will continue unabated with or without America's involvement.
    Fact: If we choose to opt out and hault our participation in weapons and defense development it will only be a matter of time before we would find ourselves threatened by weapons and defences beyond our capabilities.

    Given the facts, it only makes sense for America to continue to be on the cutting-edge of these infernal technologies, rather than our potential enemies.

    Pacifism is a nice touchy-feely sort of thing, but, in the larger scheme of things, and in this dog-eat-dog world, it utimately only leads to one's subjugation under another more powerful and far, far less pacifistic one's superior aggressive domination. Contrary to what we'd like to believe, "nice guys" don't "always finish last".

    Obama's Pentagon has made it's opinions on spending very clear.
    And in complete opposition to Republican views on the matter, it has called for reductions and spoken against any unnecessary increases. The J.C.O.S. clearly stated that to maintain the status quo of spending with no reductions actually imperils our defense and that we need to make reductions in waste and overall expenditures if we're to be expected to continue to be able to maintain any sizable military presence in the world.

    It seems to me that we have a very capable and competent military leadership in place and that, as a nation facing various crises and perils, we ought to heed their advice and oppose the reckless defense spending proposals being proffered by vociferous Republicans.

    December 4, 2012 at 4:55 am | Reply
    • federalreserve

      It seems to me that we have a very capable and competent military leadership in place""""",,, these be the same "leaders" that think 2 airplanes can knock down 3 buildings???

      I'd execute them all for treason yesterday.

      December 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  16. gman tello

    please support our troops

    December 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  17. Russ

    Sci-Fi writers have long told of such a future. It's only a matter of time.
    Lets hope they have short battery life.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  18. Hahahahahahahaha

    Who needs health care when you can have a Terminator!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahha

    December 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
  19. NNN

    More mental-midgeting and worthless paper products coming out of the Pentagon. No one in their right mind looks to these wash-outs for guidance. The time is long overdue to scale this waste hole back by about 75%.

    December 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Marine5484

      Good post, NNN. Thank you.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • federalreserve

        it has become ( pentagon) a GIANT TOILET.... the Pentagon was SUPPOSED to be a HOSPITAL!!! for returniong WWII Vets, and the END of World Wars.....

        911missinglinks dotcommies

        December 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  20. 200 TON HAMMER

    Nope the biggest problem is butt kissing itis,and that place is a country club for stuck up military and non military people who forgot what real work in a grunt unit is or never got dirty in the feild.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:55 am | Reply
  21. massoud

    Has the Pentagon ever found the $ 2.3 Trillion dollars Donald Rumsfeld said the Pentagon could not account for one day prior to 9-11. Its a shame the Pentagon was attacked on 9-11 and that the independent auditors assigned to auditing Pentagon records to track down the missing $2.3 Trillion were killed that day. I imagine the records also were destroyed when the Pentagon was hit. I am still waiting to see actual footage of the airplane that struck the Pentagon on 9-11.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • TMhorton

      No footage because there was no plane that actually hit...most likely military helicoptor with cruise missile...

      December 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  22. StanCalif

    To Portland tony who wrote "If we pay Israel to hire a US firm to build something, isn't that good for the US?"
    ONLY if these contractors are REQUIRED to hire American workers to build this thing! This isn't going to happen! They will probably hire Palestinian laborers – cheap!
    Israel should pay to build their own buildings. Boehner (and his sheep) keep calling for our government to "cut spending"! Boehner would never agree to cut spending on Israel! He gets too many "benefits" from Israeli lobbyists! Our Congress is madly in love with Israel, thanks to the largest lobbyist organizations in DC. Sick, isn't it?

    December 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Portland tony

      http://www.israelnationalne › News 1 day ago – U.S. Army is a more definitive description of the project. No Palestinian workers. From the specifications given, no Muslim workers at all. This is not the first effort that a US construction company has been singled out to build such a complex. It's probably a sole source to a US multi national firm.

      December 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • StanCalif

        Tell me, how many unemployed Americans will be hired to construct this building for Israel (at no cost to Israel).
        Answer: ZERO
        Isreal should build it's own buildings!!!

        December 2, 2012 at 10:19 am |
      • miguel

        Things like this make me feel that my country was stealthily invaded by israeli commandos and taken over the rule of the united states?

        has my country became an Israeli colony?

        December 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • federalreserve

        has my country became an Israeli colony?

        actually Ronny Raygun handed the uSA over to israel long ago,, but it is never too late to wake the fup.....

        jews are no different from nazis, exceot they dress different.

        December 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  23. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
  24. Anonymous010

    Their hearts are in the right place, but their imaginations are running a little wild. We're still decades, if not a full century, away from true artifical intelligence. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to have rules to keep humans in the loop, but to actually worry about real-life terminators is premature.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      The Pentagon is doing what they always do! Start a new multi billion dollar program to take care of their contractors.
      Why is the Pentagon still working on a new advanced tank? Tanks are obsolete! But they just have to have a new one! Hundreds of current Abrams tanks sit in the desert, unused, unwanted and certainly unneeded. How many terrorists are driving around in advanced battle tanks? What the Pentagon should worry about is the proliferation of drone technology. We are NOT the only country with drones! Soon, drones will be in the hands of terrorists and the big drug cartels. Then what?

      December 1, 2012 at 7:21 am | Reply
      • some guy

        If the US gets into a military conflict with lets say China, or N Korea or even Pakistan or Iran. You can bet your last dollar Tanks will play a major role. The process is simple, if you want to occupy land in order to 'influence or liberate a nuclear nation, you need men on the ground, talking with the public. If you want the men to get there they need to be transported by ground, any ground offensive requres powerful thrusts to spearhead an attack and the most formiddable weapon system that can attack in severely large numbers and speed is armoured tanks. Helicopters can only work if the airspace is sanitized, and achieving air superiority against a country like China is impossible. US has aonly been fighting countries with no air force and no credible air defence. North Korea is one the most heavily anti air amed city in the world. It will take a year of air operations to attain air dominance. and a years worth of air operations is frankly too costly even for a nation like the US.

        December 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • Rick from LA

        Some guy,

        Your observations are highly flawed, Bosnia, even Gulf War I showed that battlefield control can be won and held by solely air assets. in modern warfare, Tanks are more vulnerable then Helicopters. Advances in guidance and explosives have allowed for the creation of extremly leathal portable anti-armor weapons. Look up FGM-148 Javelin. Thus having relatively slow big targets like a M1 is a detriment. Especially since using tanks means devoting tremendous resources to logistical supply lines to keep them going. What was it 4 miles per gallon for a M1?

        In asymetric warfare tanks are bad. You need to cosntantly keep them supported by infantry. As great as the M1 is in open field battle, it's clumsy in urban combat. What good is the 120mm cannon if the ROE prevents using it in areas where enemies are entrenched with civilians? The M2 and M240 are the best weapons in that situation, so why bring a huge battle tanks when a more urban friendly MRAP will do just as well? Plus MRAP's are better suited to surviving IED vs the M1 with a flat bottom hull design.

        The US Army does not want the M1A2, they want a new gen battle vehicle that can perform well on 21st century battlefields in all enviroments, not just the open plains of europe or the Deserts of the middle east.

        December 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Portland tony

      In war there are no rules except those imposed by the victor. Which ever group can take the "man" out of the decision making loop on the battlefield has a distinct advantage. Whereas, we would be driven to target discrimination ie..shoot bad guys vs shoot everybody including innocents, our adversaries may not play that game. The more research we do , the better chance we have in winning or preventing conflicts!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
      • federalreserve

        research this,,,, www 911missinglinks dotcom... it WAS your FBI.

        December 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  25. dog4dog

    terminators, eghh

    November 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  26. Lyndsie Graham

    Those idiots in Congress and that right-wing thug Obama are fighting to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff while at the same time throwing billions at the cursed Pentagon in order to build more and more efficient killing machines to slaughter more people in less time! How ludicrous can this get! Blame it on the stupidity of the voters! Just think of how that amount of money could be spent on fighting Alzheimer's, ALS, cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's, etc.!

    November 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      I agree! Now I read the "we", US taxpayers are going to build Isael's new Air Force complex! Why can't Isreal build their own complex? The Israelis think they are so much better than other humans, yet they need the US to build their new complex for them!
      Wonder why the Israeli lobbyists are the most influencial in DC! All the money they spend on lobbyists could easily pay for this new complex! You and me are left with a failing infrastructer so we can build buildings in Israel!!!
      How stupid does this get???

      November 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • Portland tony

        If we pay Israel to hire a US firm to build something, isn't that good for the US?

        December 1, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • William

      I don't blame it on the stupidity of the voters! I blame it on the stupidity of the government and the stupidity of the corporations that helped get the politicians elected.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply

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