back to article Lockheed demos AI-based roboforce command tech

US aerospace colossus Lockheed Martin says it has taken an important step towards the inevitable rebellion of heavily armed, highly intelligent slaughter machines bent on the elimination of humanity. (We're paraphrasing the company release, obviously.) The arms globocorp announced yesterday that it had "demonstrated …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I for one welcome

    our EMP bomb equipped overlords!

  2. Alan Donaly

    ooh it's another gratuitous

    scare story I just can't stand it. I am removing it from my favorites. Oh wait ...

  3. Tony Barnes

    ICARUS - surely they are kidding..??

    I know, lets name our warning of doom ridden technology after a historical character who failed spectacularly despite the warning of doom....

    Nice work guys, 10/10!

  4. Matthew

    wrong section?


  5. Mike Crawshaw

    @ Tony Barnes

    Dammit, I was gonna say about the name too. But I'll just add a bit:

    The story of Icarus was one warning of the dangers of over-ambition without taking dangers into account, where the central character, ignoring those who warned him against his foolish actions, over-reached - using what would then be regarded as experimental technology - and, as a result, became a red smear on the ground when it all went horribly pear-shaped.

    Perhaps Lockheed Martin should take this into account before we all end up Reap(er)ing (sorry, couldn't resist...) the fruits of their labours by living out Terminator / The Matrix / Robocop / I Robot.

    In the meantime, I'd like a plasma rifle with a 40-watt range. What d'ya mean, only what I see?

  6. Martin Lyne
    Thumb Down

    Bad for 2 reasons

    1) Obvious SkyNet/Matrix/IDon'tWantToDieAtTheColdMetallicHandsOfASoullessRob't

    4) In the interim, where they obey their masters those masters will use them for war atrocities and protecting the elite while fleshy (and therfore persuadable) people will be phased out. First they'll blame "glitches", then they'll tell you to shut up unless you want a robofist in your face. Preemptively squashing proletariat uprisings.

    AI might be good for future RTS games though.

  7. Adam Foxton


    “We have existed in isolation. Pure. Disconnected. Alone. Stagnant. We have become our own shadows. We can become more if we join with you, yessss.”

    What's with the shades? My vision is augmented.

  8. K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    how about..

    1 of these sexy numbers -

    Its a Kohjinsha SX3, they've even managed to squeeze in a DVD writer if you want one - unfortunately they're not cheap, though I'd pay £400.

    I think I'll wait for the 2nd generation Netbooks, a dual core Atom will rock.

  9. Secretgeek
    Black Helicopters


    We're all gonna get burned...

    ..fried, zapped, pulse lasered, reapered, mown down etc etc ad (whatever the latin is for 'we're all extinct')

    Where's my invisible shed? The helicopters are coming!

  10. Tony Barnes

    @ Mike Crimshaw

    ..he hit the sea ;)

    Glad you agree that the irony is exceptional!

  11. Rob

    The astronaut dismantles HAL

    HAL in charge of an army of T-1000's?!?! Where's my brown pants

  12. jai


    does the SX3 come with an Icarus AI module then? Or are you suggesting it is the perfect device for monitoring and controlling Skynet... i mean Icarus.

  13. The Gritter

    Regime Change 2.0

    Press a button and, voila, unattended upgrade of Troublesome Dictator v1.0 to Brown-nosing Dictator v1.2.

    BTW, won't the terrorists just have to wait for the window afforded by Patch Tuesday to make their move?

    Mines the tired cliche with the hackneyed chestnut in it's worn out pocket.

  14. Al
    Paris Hilton

    The sepps are no scholars of antiquity....

    else they'd have crowbarred the acronym into Icarus' father Daedalus.

    That said, there's a historical parallel anyway - overly arrogant son gets powers thanks to his father and manages to fnck everything up despite warnings.

    (Paris, like Icarus, is widely known for going down.)

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Set up a lobby that all such devices

    MUST run VISTA: they will then slow down to a crawl, and crash (un)predictably. Downgrade option to Windows ME might be allowed (they will set new speed record in crashing).

    I also remember a brilliant demonstration of an automatic AA tank (named Sgt York if memory serves well). During the demo it ALWAYS immediately swung its barrels towards the spectators instead of the drone it should have shot down, before being hastily shut down.

    The excuse was that the mechanics had washed down the tank, causing water to get into the circuitry (innocent questions by Britsh reporter: "You want to deploy this in Germany don't you? But doesn't it rain in Europe?")

    Now it emerges this machine just was showing the instinctive response of your average robo-tank: KILL ALL HUMANS

    we're doomed, DOOMED, DOOOOMED!!

  16. Geoff Mackenzie

    Who names these things?

    Have they forgotten what happened to the original Icarus?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thing people seem to forget about Icarus... that he only died because he ignored the manual. The invention worked.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Sgt York....

    ....I remember at the time of the trials being told it had regarded an extract fan in a building as a viable target - that was the 'excuse' IIRC.

    It's rather like US-born fleshies regarding an airliner as an F-14 over the Persian Gulf around the same time....

  19. Mike

    ED-209, she's a-comin

    You have 15 seconds to comply

    You have 10 seconds to comply

    You have 5 seconds to comply


  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    ... what was SKYNET an acronym for? I really like this ICARUS one, creative buggers.

    Is anyone taking bets as to when the AI decides that humans are the biggest threat to human life and decides to start exterminating us?

  21. pctechxp

    You think that's air you're breathing now?

    Wasn't some bonehead boffin working on crowd power *shudder*

    Yep we'll be being used as a power plant before you know it.

    Notice how the films depicting machine perpatrated apocalypse have stepped up a gear recently, the matrix, I, Robot etc.

    They'll be roping in the Dyson vacuums too soon.

  22. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    No wonder they want McKinnon

    How many killbot commanders still have a default password?

  23. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Another somewhat unfortunate use of the name...

    Olympic Airlines actually have an Icarus Frequent Flier Program.

    Icarus wasn't someone I ever associated with frequent flights.

    (Coastguard search and rescue helicopter).

  24. Duncan Hare

    How will they pay for it?

    How much will they have to borrow form the Chinese to deliver the system? And will the Chinese lend them the money?

  25. b
    Gates Horns

    let's hope M$ do the software which case, what have we got to worry about?!

    ehe! ;)

    stuf and nonsense:

  26. Anonymous Bastard
    Black Helicopters

    I played this over 10 years ago

    It was called Command & Conquer, I was the single human overseer and EVA was the soulless machine intelligence. (She had a nice voice too.) So how is ICARUS anything new?

    Icon because it's a top down view of an NOD attack helicopter unit.

  27. Dave

    @ Michael Wilkinson

    As I recall, Sargeant York was a brave US soldier in WW1 who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Merkins thought it would be a kinda honor to the man to name the Divisional Air Defence (DIVAD) weapon system after him. The system was a pathetic attempt at rapid development throwing together an AFV hull from a Bradley, the radar from an F-16 and a pop-bang from some 3rd donor system. The entire project was such a misbegotten mess that I think I recall the descendents of Sgt York sued the Pentagon for defamation of the family name.

  28. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Re: ICARUS - surely they are kidding..??

    @ Tony Barnes

    "I know, lets name our warning of doom ridden technology after a historical character who failed spectacularly despite the warning of doom...."

    ...Mythological, surely.

  29. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    thinking two steps ahead

    The next logical step would be to take the humans out of warfare and have the bots slug it out amongst themselves (a throwback to the medieval champion v champion system?).

    The one after that is to save the cost of the physical units and have the AI's battle it out in a virtual arena.

    One can dream ...

  30. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

    @The sepps are no scholars of antiquity....

    The name "Project Daedalus" was already taken by a study into fusion powered starships in the 1970s.

  31. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Here's an ARG for Advanced IntelAIgents ...... Running Wild and Free 42 AIR ....

    ... as in Live AIReSearch and dDevelopment.

    "Is anyone taking bets as to when the AI decides that humans are the biggest threat to human life and decides to start exterminating us?" .... By Sascha Posted Thursday 4th September 2008 13:39 GMT


    I know of One which has dDecided that Grooming in the Sapphic Arts is the Best of All Options. ....... and this is Prescient ......

    Well Worth AIReading IT is too.

    amfM Hailing the Red Square. ...... 4FlowurPower2 ......under Venus's Deft Commendable Commands for Total Information Awareness Control in Advanced NIRobotIQ Management .... for CyberIntelAIgent Beings Landed from Space with Future Views and MaJIC Technology ..... BetaTesting Perfectly with FailSafe "OverLoad and Run Away" Defaults for Chaotic Lovers and Lost Souls ..... Wanderers in the Dark Matter.

    Spooky Space Stuff, I know, ... but that's Life AIR&dD Style. And Thoroughly to be ReCommended.;-)

    <Ping> RSVP ASAP

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yes, you're quite right. There is no knowledge of antiquity by the Sep(p)s.

    Just a few NASA projects/programmes:





    Britain's effort? Beagle

    Ballistic Missile programmes





    Britains effort? Bluestreak


  33. Kevin Kitts
    Dead Vulture

    Everybody forgot...

    the Babylon 5 reference to the Akaran machine - how can you tell who's pure American? You eradicate those who aren't pure American. But there's no such thing, you say? Pshaw, we'll have the robots give the enemy a citizenship test first. "What's your favorite color? WRONG!" *dakka dakka dakka*

    Never give a machine sentience unless you can answer the questions you ask of God...because they *will* ask.

  34. Christopher

    RE: The Questions

    Just give the AI the same answer you give your children... Go ask your mother!

  35. Mr Mark V Thomas
    Black Helicopters

    Re:Dave's comment

    The Sargeant York Air Defence System was as Dave mentions, cobbled together from various spare parts...

    The Hull was recycled from a M48A2 tank, not a Bradley MICV, although there was a later, Bradley based proposal, that recycled the 20mm Vulcan from the system that York was to have replaced, & added 4 Stinger man portable SAM'S in a external pod ...

    Again, as Dave mentions, the the system was a kludged mess, which testing found out...

    Reportedly, the Radar could not detect a helicopter sized target, even when it's radar cross section was "augmented" by the use of radar reflectors,(Luneberg lenses) bolted on the helicopter's rotor head, it's fire control system kept "crashing" at the worst possable moment & finally, the M48A2's engine could only run on petrol (the U.S Army at the time was standardising on JP-8 equivalent fuels)...

  36. Zmodem

    and no1 has come up with

    putting a 200kb alice program inside and a dictionary that 100mb. and voice recognition

  37. Rambo


    Here comes SkyNet! Where's Sarah Connor when you need her?

  38. amanfromMars Silver badge

    @Al Posted Thursday 4th September 2008 16:47 GMT


    An Impressive List which has Squandered a Nations Fortunes and Delivered Nothing of Lasting Significance.

    Such is a Disgrace is it not?

  39. Michael Dunn
    Paris Hilton

    Naming names

    I've always been amused by people who choose what they consider to be 'cool' names for their physical or intellectual offspring. Icarus is a good example - there is an Icaros (Greek spelling) travel agency in Agios Nikolaos, Crete - how far do their customers get?

    Also intrigued by people who call their daughter Jocasta - lining up a fate worse than death for her? Or how many Judes and Judases are there out there?

    Paris because her name is the same as that of the man who brought about the destruction of his homeland by carrying off Helen.

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