Review: Wired for War by P.W.Singer

Although by the time I finally finished reading this book it was perhaps over a decade old and hence due the hi-tech nature of the subject, perhaps dated, I gained a lot of new knowledge about the robotics industry, technological progress in society and in particular, the application of robotics to warfare. Nowadays everybody from kids to adults play with their minidrones and they’ve become a regular sight in our modern lives. Drones in warfare have had a tremendous impact. The modern theatre of warfare benefits from technological advances where non-human robot systems can conduct some of the most dangerous activities and hence save the lives of soldiers and civilians. Unmanned bomb disposal robots or remotely flown drones have changed the battlefield. A US Army drone pilot can sit in the Arizona desert at a desk and pick up his kids from school and return home to dinner with his wife, all whilst commanding frontline missions against Taliban insurgents in the Afghan mountains. The whole concept of robotics is very much a new phenomenon and is changing the way military and political chiefs act and think. Aasimov’s laws of robotics, although fictional are philosophically analysed and the author spends a lot of time focussing on the whole ethics of non-human combat. The book is very well-researched and is enlightening and I gave it a five star rating. I’d be keen on any follow up work that the author may do in this field.

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