The Future of Robotics at War

Peter W. Singer
Peter W. Singer Former Brookings Expert, Strategist and Senior Fellow - New America

January 29, 2009

Peter Singer joined Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s Daily Show to discuss his new book Wired for War.

Jon Stewart, host : Wired for War is the name of the book, The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. This is such a meal — this book — I commend you. It is really so all encompassing in terms of where the robotics revolution came from and the ethical concerns. I wish I’d had more than an hour to look at this.

Peter Singer: Thank you.

Stewart: One of the most shocking things in the book to me, is the level at which robotics is now deployed with our fighting forces just in the past five years, going from like zero to 5,000.

Singer: Yes, the revolution that’s happening isn’t that the Governor of California is going to show up at your door. It is a different kind of revolution, it is a historic revolution.

Stewart: You are talking about the Terminator?

Singer: Yeah.

Stewart: You are not talking about Twins?

Singer: That would be a worse revolution. We have gone from having a handful of these unmanned drones in the air, when we invaded Iraq, to now we have 5,300 of them. On the ground, we went in with zero, and we now have 12,000. These are the Model T Fords compared to what’s coming.

Watch the full interview »