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Visions of swarming robots: Artificial intelligence and stupidity in the military-industrial projection of the future of warfare

Crogan, Patrick


Patrick Crogan
Associate Professor in Digital Cultures


Teresa Heffernan


My subject in this paper is the analysis, speculation and recommendations for the future development and deployment of lethal autonomous robotic systems such as they appear in reports, studies and presentations emanating from what is still aptly called the military-industrial complex. To develop this critical reflection I mobilize a critical perspective on the future of military technology informed by the work of French philosopher of technology Bernard Stiegler. I consider from this perspective the human intelligence that is marshalled and directed toward the future plans for a new kind of “war in the age of intelligent machines”. I show the pertinence of Stiegler’s comments on the human exercise of its potential for rational, reflective intelligence in order to critically evaluate the promotion in these plans of a strategy advocating the delegation of killing to a synthesized swarming intelligence.

Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2019
Publication Date Jan 3, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2021
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 89-112
Series Title Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI
Series ISSN 2523-8523
Book Title Cyborg Futures: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Chapter Number 5
ISBN 978-3-030-21835-5
Keywords Drones, AI, swarming, Stiegler
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