Slamhounds on My Trail…

by Chris Borgen

In honor of Ken, I wanted to post a quick heads-up to this post by Tom James at Futurismic, which has the excellent title “I, For One, Welcome Our New Robodog Overlords.”  Money quote:

According to Prof Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

I don’t have a Stendahl quote for this, so I’ll close with the opening from William Gibson’s Count Zero, a sci-fi novel from twenty years ago which may prove all-too-prescient in this instance:

They set a slamhound on Turner’s trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT.

He didn’t see it coming. The last he saw of India was the pink stucco facade of a place called the Khush-Oil Hotel.

[I have no idea what recrystallized hexogene is, but it sure sounds nasty.]

3 Responses

  1. I have no idea what recrystallized hexogene is, but it sure sounds nasty.


  2. This is so way cool!  I’m thinking about putting on a very small conference – reallly a sort of experts discussion – on battlefield robots in the spring.  Ill keep everyone posted.  

  3. Thanks, Charly! That link gave me memories of high school chemistry, albeit of a more explosive kind!

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