Note: Do NOT try this at home. This is not a “how-to”. Building these could (hopefully) get you arrested . . .
. . . but it’s only a matter of time before they WILL be abused. Our saving grace will be space travel (Spacex.com), artificial general intelligence (AGI Lab), bioengineering (Bioviva) and the like . . . but we must push these and related technologies forward before it’s too late. We must ‘be’ transhuman and transcend our biology or . . .
Most of you probably saw the article 50PH14: Slaughterbots & Fear-mongering vs. Useful Action and/or the Slaughterbot video that inspired it. The “problem” is that the video presented this as a future problem that could be stopped. As a reality check, let’s just briefly look at what is “real” now and easy to do. I went and talked to some people in the drone world — and I came across a couple of people, “inspired” by the video, who already had the above drone built and flying. So I looked at a some of the off-the-shelf technology they used . . . .
Let’s start with a simple off-the-shelf IR controlled racing helicopter that is easily converted into an assassin drone (pictured above). In this case, it’s been fitted with a 9mm dummy round (it isn’t) and a switch controller with the existing electronics. One tap on someone’s head would be ‘bad’ – and imagine if, instead of using a standard round, you use a Glaser round (https://www.corbon.com/glaser-safety-slug.html) which does a much better job of doing close impact damage and increases the likelihood of ‘stopping’ the target immediately.
Now, while this drone does not have the brains to do it on its own — it can easily be controlled with an off-the-shelf virtually unblockable wireless bridge like Sure-fi (http://sure-fi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SureFi-WhitePaper-Final.pdf). While this may seem pretty humble, I went down to that lab and saw that they had no signal loss from inside a military grade ‘class 4’ faraday cage to the other side of the building on the outside (never mind the part about not being able to get ordinary cell reception due to the heavily reinforced steel and concert the building was made out of). This means that you now have virtually no limits to the computing power you can put behind your drone(s) and those computers can be hidden safely in a bunker. And note that this is just an off-the-shelf toy drone.
Or, imagine what you could do with something a touch bigger – like a DJI, Mavic Pro (https://store.dji.com/product/mavic-pro). It is satellite-guided, has enough built-in computing power to do facial tracking on its own and far more “cargo” capacity. I saw a modified version of this drone, that these same people were playing with, whose payload was a whole lot more dangerous than the one-shot wonder they let me take a picture of.
Drones at the level of the Mavic Pro can be made extremely dangerous almost trivially. Of course, no one should do this sort of thing – but you know that someone will . . . .
What you need to do is to help society push technologies that will help quickly — while humanity still exists. This kind of thing is here *now* and we can’t stop it unless we progress. We need your help now…