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January 22, 2008

Israel, Home Of The WOPR

Doesn't anyone remember the movie War Games? Apparently not in Israel, where they have decided to research "thinking machines" as a controlling mechanism for a missile defense system. Faster than anyone can say Cyberdyne, the system would respond to a catastrophic attack by ensuring the death of Israel's attackers, even if the human beings at the controls get incapacitated:

Israel has been hit in recent years by thousands and thousands of rockets, mortar shells, and missiles. And that could be just a preview of the onslaught Iran may one day unleash. So Israeli military leaders have begun early planning for a new, robotic defense system, armed with enough artificial intelligence that it "could take over completely" from flesh-and-blood operators. "It will be designed for... autonomous operations,' Brig. Gen. Daniel Milo, commander of Israel's air defense forces, tells Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome. And in the event of a "doomsday" strike, Opall-Rome notes, the system could handle "attacks that exceed physiological limits of human command."

How do you say "Skynet" in Hebrew, again?

Israel already uses a blend of Arrow and Patriot interceptors to handle incoming rockets and missiles. This new command-and-control program would be "superimposed over all those defenses" -- and over new ones to come.

Why not? What could possibly go wrong? If the inevitable cyborg takeover occurs, we just need to ensure that we have Summer Glau protecting the Last Hope Of Mankind. As long as it isn't Edward Furlong, we should be just fine.


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