Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - Continuing their quest...
The cinematic world sat amazed in in theaters around the world in 1984, as Arnold Schwarzenegger filled the big screen with his portrayal of the post-apocalyptic assassin, the Terminator, sent back in time to eliminate Sarah Conner.
Now, in just under thirty years, DARPA is well on its way to creating a robot with all too real similarities. Meet Atlas, a six foot two inch, three hundred and thirty pound "Cyborg." Atlas' usefulness spills over into the civilian world for times when it would be unsafe or impossible for humans to provide assistance. Very commendable, at least on the surface.
While DARPA's innovative technology has given rise to commercial products and many times been of benefit to society, bringing to life a robotic unit such as Atlas has the potential for much darker implications.
Imagine an army of Atlas' on the battlefield. These metal giants would be able to withstand much more abuse than the human body. They could save countless soldier's lives. But what happens as we continue to strive for computers with autonomous ability; creating super machines with the capability to think for themselves and then one day find something has gone terribly wrong? And once this occurs Pandora's box will have been opened. Drones and other machines will only proliferate as technology increases.
Sounds just like science fiction, doesn't it? Well, so was The Terminator in 1984. If I am writing about it, you can bet someone in the military is thinking about the potential of an army of elite programmed warriors. And then what happens? The future is always the unknown. Watch the movie again and remember, the truth is out there.