I was so excited the day that Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez came out that I immediately dropped what I was reading and picked up a copy. I absolutely loved his first and second books. His writing is realistic (for techies), interesting, and explores very timely topics.
This latest book focused on autonomous military drones -- self-piloting and self-organizing planes used for reconnaissance and warfare. The title refers to the ability of certain drones (present or future) to make the decision to kill (as opposed to just gather data/imagery).
The text explored lots of cool topics like computer vision (at Stanford!), laser-guided weapons, airplanes, helicopters, and swarm intelligence. I enjoyed the discussion of weaver ant research as well as the historical role of ravens living in symbiosis with humans. It also discussed modern social media manipulation for political (i.e., corporate) purposes.
Drones are already a reality (the book specifically had scenes of military workers sitting in the US playing a "video game" (à la Ender's Game) but controlling real robots/planes halfway around the world. What happens when they will be self-organizing with kill decision authority? The book takes the view that this is a question of "when" and not "if," especially with parts and programming becoming off-the-shelf and lower cost. Will our laws and societal structures keep up/be ahead of this or behind? The book's heroes fight to stop a world with a "new age of warfare" with fully autonomous, kill-decision enabled drones built by "evil" people that eventually could destroy the world itself.
Really fun read!
8/8/2012 03:09:03 pm
I just posted an exclusive Interview with Daniel Suarez | Part 1 at ARDirt.com/12 Daniel talks about Kill Decision, Daemon, and FreedomTM. If you love his books you will want to hear his perspective on emerging technology, Augmented Reality, and autonomous swarming drones.
8/8/2012 03:22:27 pm
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