Robot Smog early steps

In the Robot Smog chapter I suggest that, when the broad individual voice afforded by the internet seeps into physical robotics, our tangible world may become “polluted” in an add way by robot inventions, robot remixes and hacks that interfere with how we behave in public spaces today. Mathew Schwartz writing for Information Week has just published an article, GPS Spoofer Hacks Civilian Drone Navigation System, describing how University of Texas researchers demonstrated that a drone’s flightpath can be directly modified by unauthorized hackers on the ground. There is a line in PW Singer’s book, Wired for War, where he reminds us that every single war innovation we create will eventually be copied and used by our enemies- and that this sentiment ought to color our interest and willingness in innovating for war. By the same token, it’s safe to say that every piece of technology will eventually be hacked, and we should think through the potential consequences. A teleoperated machine- designed specifically to be commanded remotely, is particularly susceptible to becoming part of our future robot smog.

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