The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?  (Read 3585 times)

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #25 on: 09/08/2015 00:13:22 »
He talks of them needing "compassion and intuition" and asserts that robots definitely don't have these, while people might.

Crap.

There is no evidence of Crusaders, Conquistadores, ISIS or the Imperial Japanese Army displaying compassion, nor of recent Prime Ministers and Presidents having any intuition. War is about killing at least as many people as it takes to achieve your objective. In the case of recent western adventures, that objective need not be stated or achievable, and in the case of ISIS, the minimum number to be killed is "everyone, including our own soldiers from time to time".

Give me a robot any day.   
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #26 on: 09/08/2015 18:55:03 »
Quote
Climbing to 4000ft on route to Edinburgh
means that you are already en route, which may not be true.

How does "Climbing to 4000 ft destination Edinburgh" avoid that? If you haven't taken off yet, the "climbing" and "en route" can both be taken as future tense (will be climbing, will be en route).

Quote
If you say "....en route to Edinburgh", Ms Approach is likely to enquire in the politest possible terms who the hell gave you permission to do that, and start warning all traffic that Groundhog 451 has gone rogue again.

If there's a standard way of phrasing things that you have to keep to in order to avoid misunderstandings (with people who don't really speak and understand English properly [which appears to include a lot of native English speakers these days]), then obviously you have to stick to the rules of that. My point is about the underlying meaning and the idea of designing a perfect language to be as close to that as possible without having a bloated lexicon.

Quote
"En route to Carlisle" would have meant I was flying directly into the path of the inbound traffic.

In terms of components, there is no difference between destination carlisle and to carlisle. If some special grammatical rules are applied to it by pilots to add or warp the meaning, that doesn't show up in the components. If you were to start with a perfect language and then use that for pilots to communicate in, again it could be warped to speed up communication, but it might not need to be warped as that perfect language might enable pilots to say exactly what they mean in normal language which would be clear to any non-pilot.

Out of interest, how well to they do in films when pilots speak to air traffic control? Do they generally keep to the rules or do the writers just make it up based on things they've half heard?
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #27 on: 09/08/2015 19:01:02 »
He talks of them needing "compassion and intuition" and asserts that robots definitely don't have these, while people might.

Crap.

There is no evidence of Crusaders, Conquistadores, ISIS or the Imperial Japanese Army displaying compassion, nor of recent Prime Ministers and Presidents having any intuition.

He was careful to use the word "might": people might have them. Some people involved in wars do step back and make good decisions. I don't know if it's common though. The dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan could have been done very differently if the first had been dropped over the sea as a warning shot, thereby making it look as if the Americans had a lot more than two of them available - that would have made the episode heroic instead of pressing ahead to test the bombs on people.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #28 on: 09/08/2015 23:56:33 »


How does "Climbing to 4000 ft destination Edinburgh" avoid that? If you haven't taken off yet, the "climbing" and "en route" can both be taken as future tense (will be climbing, will be en route).'

If I haven't taken off yet, I can't be climbing. I may get a departure instruction "after takeoff, climb to..." which I have to read back, and once cleared to take off, I have to report where I am, what I am doing, and what I want to do next. Remember that (a) this is a broadcast conversation that may be of importance to other pilots and (b) radar isn't ubiquitous or infallible - a lot of movements are "procedural" and unseen by anyone, so my position reports must be unambiguous.

Quote
If there's a standard way of phrasing things that you have to keep to in order to avoid misunderstandings (with people who don't really speak and understand English properly [which appears to include a lot of native English speakers these days]), then obviously you have to stick to the rules of that. My point is about the underlying meaning and the idea of designing a perfect language to be as close to that as possible without having a bloated lexicon.

The English vocabulary we use is minimal, unambiguous, and carefully chosen not to involve critical "squ" "th" and other Celtisms that are foreign to non-natives, since everyone has to use it. Incidentally if you can think of an acceptable phonetic alphabet substitute for "November", the ICAO and Marine Interco would love to hear from you! 

Quote
Quote
"En route to Carlisle" would have meant I was flying directly into the path of the inbound traffic.

In terms of components, there is no difference between destination carlisle and to carlisle. If some special grammatical rules are applied to it by pilots to add or warp the meaning, that doesn't show up in the components.

You missed the point! "En route" only and always means following the desired, planned or published track, generally pointing in the direction of Carlisle.  "Destination" is telling (sorry, ma'am, reminding) the controller where I eventually want to go, whilst she is vectoring me in all sorts of directions to avoid other traffic in the airport zone. At some point she will release me from control with "Groundhog 451 now clear of my area, resume own navigation and call London Information 156.930 en route" or similar. I acknowledge, turn onto my chosen heading (which may be 180 degrees and 10,000 feet away) then transfer to the en route service. 

Quote
Out of interest, how well to they do in films when pilots speak to air traffic control? Do they generally keep to the rules or do the writers just make it up based on things they've half heard?
Quite a problem. The military would prefer to use code words that the enemy won't know, but neither will the audience, and professional civilian traffic exchanges are very rapid - to the extent that you are encouraged to preface your callsign with "student" or "tyro" until you get attuned to it, and they will speak slower. Part of the problem is that the operators at both ends know what to expect, and a lot of procedures are standardised, so for example you might be asked to accept a SID (standard instrument departure): if you agree, the instruction may be "depart SHAGA 150" which refers to a printed page of vector diagrams and numbers, via a waypoint (SHAGA) that only exists as the confluence of a couple of radio signals (and has been named to be pronouceable....). Hardly entertaining or instructive for a cinema audience.   
« Last Edit: 10/08/2015 00:09:42 by alancalverd »
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #29 on: 10/08/2015 00:08:28 »

He was careful to use the word "might": people might have them. Some people involved in wars do step back and make good decisions. I don't know if it's common though.

I've just seen a documentary about the sinking of the Tirpitz. Two interesting points.

1. The German defence fighters were very late on the scene - in fact they missed the action and went home. This was because the radar officer was in fact an Allied sympathiser who delayed the alert.

2. The narrator went on about the "humanitarian disaster" of sinking the ship, quite ignoring the fact that the sole purpose of the Tirpitz and its crew was to kill people.

On that score, most of my parents' generation who fought in the Far East were absolutely delighted by the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My own father was exercising tank squadrons for what would otherwise have been a 5-year bloodbath as the Allies invaded Japan. 
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #30 on: 10/08/2015 00:10:25 »



How does "Climbing to 4000 ft destination Edinburgh" avoid that? If you haven't taken off yet, the "climbing" and "en route" can both be taken as future tense (will be climbing, will be en route).'

If I haven't taken off yet, I can't be climbing. I may get a departure instruction "after takeoff, climb to..." which I have to read back, and once cleared to take off, I have to report where I am, what I am doing, and what I want to do next. Remember that (a) this is a broadcast conversation that may be of importance to other pilots and (b) radar isn't ubiquitous or infallible - a lot of movements are "procedural" and unseen by anyone, so my position reports must be unambiguous.

Quote
If there's a standard way of phrasing things that you have to keep to in order to avoid misunderstandings (with people who don't really speak and understand English properly [which appears to include a lot of native English speakers these days]), then obviously you have to stick to the rules of that. My point is about the underlying meaning and the idea of designing a perfect language to be as close to that as possible without having a bloated lexicon.

The English vocabulary we use is minimal, unambiguous, and carefully chosen not to involve critical "squ" "th" and other Celtisms that are foreign to non-natives, since everyone has to use it. Incidentally if you can think of an acceptable phonetic alphabet substitute for "November", the ICAO and Marine Interco would love to hear from you! 

Quote
Quote
"En route to Carlisle" would have meant I was flying directly into the path of the inbound traffic.

In terms of components, there is no difference between destination carlisle and to carlisle. If some special grammatical rules are applied to it by pilots to add or warp the meaning, that doesn't show up in the components.

You missed the point! "En route" only and always means following the desired, planned or published track, generally pointing in the direction of Carlisle.  "Destination" is telling (sorry, ma'am, reminding) the controller where I eventually want to go, whilst she is vectoring me in all sorts of directions to avoid other traffic in the airport zone. At some point she will release me from control with "Groundhog 451 leaving my area, resume own navigation and call London Information 156.930 en route" or similar. I acknowledge, turn onto my chosen heading (which may be 180 degrees and 10,000 feet away) then transfer to the en route service. 

Quote
Out of interest, how well to they do in films when pilots speak to air traffic control? Do they generally keep to the rules or do the writers just make it up based on things they've half heard?
Quite a problem. The military would prefer to use code words that the enemy won't know, but neither will the audience, and professional civilian traffic exchanges are very rapid - to the extent that you are encouraged to preface your callsign with "student" or "tyro" until you get attuned to it, and they will speak slower. Part of the problem is that the operators at both ends know what to expect, and a lot of procedures are standardised, so for example you might be asked to accept a SID (standard instrument departure): if you agree, the instruction may be "depart SHAGA 150" which refers to a printed page of vector diagrams and numbers, via a waypoint (SHAGA) that only exists as the confluence of a couple of radio signals (and has been named to be pronouceable....). Hardly entertaining or instructive for a cinema audience.   
[/quote]
« Last Edit: 10/08/2015 18:43:56 by alancalverd »
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #31 on: 10/08/2015 18:04:51 »
You missed the point! "En route" only and always means following the desired, planned or published track, generally pointing in the direction of Carlisle.

You're missing the point - these are specific rules for a specialised use of English specific to flight communications. The existence of these rules in no good argument against the idea of using a perfect langauge rather than an imperfect one in which there is a much more compact lexicon. If necessary, you could still develop a specialised form of flight communication language upon a perfect language in which you take shortcuts and miss out some of the words, though it is less likely that you would need to do so.

[Due to illness, this will be my last post here. I have to concentrate on tidying up my work and finding the right people to pass it on to in the hope that they may be able to finish it for me.]
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #32 on: 10/08/2015 18:47:04 »
Best wishes.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Are autonomous weapons a good or bad idea?
« Reply #32 on: 10/08/2015 18:47:04 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length