Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The View from 22 – Drone wars and Olympic triumphs

2 August 2012

9:20 AM

2 August 2012

9:20 AM

Are flying killing robots about to change our lives? Mary Wakefield interviews technology expert turned thriller writer Daniel Suarez in this week’s magazine, who believes the day of killing drones is fast approaching. In our latest View from 22 podcast, Mary examines the fast approaching juncture faced over drone warfare:
‘One of these [fast approaching technologies] is giving drones, which are military planes without pilots, the ability to make decisions to kill themselves. At the moment, drones are piloted by remote control operators — young kids with joysticks in the Nevada desert — but they’ve got the technology now to let the drones decide to kill things. 
So you wouldn’t even need a guy with a joystick and a red button, the drone itself would be cruising around Afghanistan and Pakistan killing at will with face recognition technology. That’s the point at which Suarez says we’ve got to stop, rein back and think whether this ok and what we want.’
Freddy Gray presents our handy pocket guide to the remaining Olympic sports, as well as the games’ economic effect on London and the empty seats controversy. James Forsyth also discusses his political column on what the Olympic triumphs mean for the career of the man making the very most of them — the Mayor of London.Will Boris’ grandstanding be enough to make him a serious challenge to David Cameron? Listen with the embedded player below to hear our analysis. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your computer by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 – 2 August 2012. Length 22:56
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Show comments
  • roger

    From what I read in the Grauniad a drone attack will be targeting an pesky firm of London solicitors soon for promulgating some Afghan nonsense about SOCA ( who are just useless).

  • Noa

    “…the drone itself would be cruising around Afghanistan and Pakistan killing at will with face recognition technology…”

    What’s not to like?

    • roger

      And of course the big beards confuse the computers, not to mention Burkas.

  • Daniel Maris

    There are now robot cars that drive more safely than humans. Robot warriors aren’t necessarily going to be less protective of non-combatants than human controllers but I think we need a much wider debate about the role of robots in our lives.
    I would recommend people take a look on Google at what the latest version of Honda’s Asimo robot can do. It’s now very much in the region of human capability. I think people are sleep walking on this issue. We are about to see millions of jobs disappear from our economy as a result of robotisation.

    • redmayne77

      We will also see the end of manual laobur which no doubrt annoys Luddite like you. As this is a right wing magazine, I assume that your Luddism comes from the right which perhaps means you do not like technology because you believe that suffering builds character? If so then that is far worse than left Luddism which is about sustainability.

      • Daniel Maris

        Where did I say I disapproved of robotisation? Nowhere.
        I said we need a proper debate on it e.g. making sure that the benefits of robotisation are spread across the whole community, not just hogged by a small minority.

  • Donafugata

    But that’s what it says, “rein back” as in control, can’t you read?

  • vandriver

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but the Queen reigns, and one must do all one can to REIN back the drones, you drone. When will Spec writers learn to spell?