Drone Boning, intelligent drones “that learn,” and freaky robots

I hadn’t heard about this one. Stephen Colbert does a segment on a new film, “Drone Boning,” that’s a voyeuristic take on aerial drones.

The film recruited volunteers to have sex while a drone flew over. The film is shot well, with beautiful music, and is actually artistically interesting. It’s also something I can’t post here, but you can go see it on Vimeo.

Colbert then gets into the issue of drones that learn. Apparently, DARPA is working on creating drones that can learn as they go alone.

What could possibly go wrong, Colbert notes, with arming a weapon, setting it free, and giving it a mind of its own.

Speaking of terrifying new technology, here’s a robot being worked on by a company owned by Google. It practices its human-like balancing skills.

I’m not one who’s actdually afraid of technology. But it’s not implausible that machines that are taught to think might one day think bad thoughts.

Did I say “overlords”? I meant “protectors.”


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, .

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  • Drew2u

    It has to do with the change of the mobile site. For some reason the wrong comments load when viewing the phone version instead of the desktop version (which is, for some reason, unobtainable on a phone, now)

  • Moderator3

    You are in the post entitled “Bone Droning ………”

  • Allen

    after a little more checking it seems that in each post I see the comments for the following post.

  • Allen

    I’m in the post “Canadian PM disses Putin at G20” and I see a series of comments starting with “Google Execs watched Terminator and said, “Let’s do that!”” and a subsequent discussion of computer-related topics. I’m reading on iOS.

  • Moderator3

    Demosthenes appears to have put his comment under the wrong post. All the others seem to belong here. Apparently, you see more than one. What are they?

  • Allen

    Why is it that the comments have nothing to do with the post I’m reading? Am I mossing something?

  • Demosthenes

    An interesting take, Mr. Aravosis, on the politics of the president issuing an executive order on immigration. While I had some inkling this particular political calculus was part of it, you crystallized this hunch.

    We are in for a rocky two years.

  • Indigo

    The first step will be to come up with something that replaces the Pentagon Internet spin-off we’re using now. What will that look like? Where will it come from? Tesla, maybe? Or, more sensibly, from that direction where we’re not looking, just like every other quantum leap breakthrough in history.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Which is why I don’t use MicroSoft, Flash or Javascript.

    I’ve known about MicroSoft’s ‘bugs’ for decades. They intentionally pace backdoors in their OS for the use of the NSA, and when someone finds them, they are ‘patched’ to close that hole – and open another one. EVERYONE who has been paying attention has known that since 1985, so no surprise there.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Google Execs watched Terminator and said, “Let’s do that!”

  • The_Fixer

    I think that you are correct. Computing is in a sad state. Many reasons for it, but it boils down to commercial pressure to crank out code quickly and fix it later, if at all.

    Which is why it needs to be a massive government-funded university research project. The commercial world will not do it unless they are taxed for bad code. And how do you do that? It would be very tough.

  • Indigo

    We’re in the early days of computing. It took half a century to get seat belts into the horseless carriage, we can realistically expect no more due diligence with computers and possibly a whole lot less.

  • The_Fixer

    I would feel a whole mot more comfortable with shit like this if we had, in fact, mastered computer programming. We’re far from that point.

    Just yesterday I read a story about Microsoft fixing a vulnerability in Windows that had been there for 19 years! Every month Microsoft issues a fresh batch of patches to fix vulnerabilities like this. At least once a month we are blessed with a new version of the ubiquitous Adobe Flash player. Java can sometimes update twice a month. Adobe Reader has batches of updates appearing monthly – I think. It’s hard to figure out what their update cycle is. Every application on a computer these days seems to have its own updater.

    And yet we’re trusting programmers to make the right choices in programming into robots and drones some bit of autonomy. I would much prefer an industry-wide mobilization of programmers to repair our current broken computer programming techniques, languages and compilers. Not only would it advance the science of computing, but it would add some (small) measure of safety to the operation of robots and drones.

    This absolutely has to be done, sooner or later. We can’t go on computing like this. Eventually, the industry has to fix this or we will be living with powerful robots and drones with faulty intelligence that can be turned against us.

    The ethics of spying on people are another discussion, but it’s clear to me that we don’t need more of them spying on us (no matter what a person or persons are up to at the moment).

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    Start making some handsome money by working an internet job from comfort of your home! What all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. You will be paid regular on a regular basis… Visit this link for more details……>> -> READ REVIEW!!!! <-

  • nicho

    Well we have nothing to worry about then. If these things have a mind of their own, then they’re obviously liberals, not conservatives.

  • Could they have senses?

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