Wired for War
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Wired for War : The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

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We are just beginning to see a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of "I, Robot" and the "Terminator" all too real. More than seven thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq. Pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan. Scientists are debating just how smart - and how lethal - to make their current robotic prototypes. And many of the most renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon on the next generation. Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on the front lines as well as on the politics back home. Moving humans off the battlefield makes wars easier to start, but more complex to fight. Replacing men with machines may save some lives, but will lower the morale and psychological barriers to killing. The 'warrior ethos', which has long defined soldiers' identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations. While his analysis is unnerving, there's an irresistible gee-whiz quality to the innovations Singer uncovers.
"Wired for War" travels from Iraq to see these robots in combat to the latter-day 'skunk works' in America's suburbia, where tomorrow's technologies of war are quietly being designed. In Singer's hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 167.64 x 248.92 x 48.26mm | 771.1g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1594201986
  • 9781594201981
  • 232,205

Review quote

?PW Singer. . .has written what is likely to be the definitive work on this subject for some time to come. He has a record of drawing out the underlying trends in modern warfare, with previous books on child soldiers and the increasing use of mercenaries. "Wired for War" will confirm his reputation: it is riveting and comprehensive, encompassing every aspect of the rise of military robotics, from the historical to the ethical.? ?" Financial Times" ?[A] riveting, important book . . . Singer, at age 29 the youngest scholar named a senior fellow to the Brookings Institute, put four years into writing "Wired for War." It is the only book in my reading experience that quotes Immanuel Kant and Biggie Smalls with equal enthusiasm. The resulting book is an intoxicating, encyclopedic trip - made intensely readable by all the colorful characters Singer salts along this story. . . . I will be shelving my copy next to two other books that remade my world view: Tracy Kidder's "The Sould aP. W. Singer has fashioned a definitive text on the future of war around the subject of robots. In no previous book have I gotten such an intrinsic sense of what the military future will be like.aa Robert D. Kaplan, author of "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground" aSinger's book is as important (very) as it is readable (highly), as much a fascinating account of new technology as it is a challenging appraisal of the strategic, political and ethical questions that we must now face. This book needs to be widely read -- not just within the defense community but by anyone interested in the most fundamental questions of how our society and others will look at war itself.aaAnthony Lake, former U.S. National Security Advisor and Professor of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University aDrawing from sources spanning popular culture and hard science, Singer reveals how the relationship between man and robot is changing the very nature of war. He details technology that has, until now, been the stuff of science fiction: lethal machines that can walk on water or hover outside windows, machines joined in networks or thinking for themselves. I found this book fascinating, deep, entertaining, and frightening.aa Howard Gordon, writer and executive producer of "24, The X-Files," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" "Lively, penetrating, and wise ... A warmly human (even humorous) account of robotics and other military technologies that focuses where it should: on us."aRichard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy and Director, National Semiconductor Corporation aWill wars someday be fought by Terminator-like machines? In this provocative andentertaining new book, one of our brightest young strategic thinkers suggests the answer may well be ayes.a Singeras sprightly survey of robotics technology takes the reader from battlefields and cutting-edge research labs to the dreams of science fiction writers. In the process, he forces us to grapple with the strategic and ethical implications of the anew new thinga in war.aaMax Boot, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; author of "The Savage Wars of Peace" and "War Made New" aWeaving together immaculate academic research with a fan boyas lexicon of popular culture, Singer looks at the people and technologies beta-testing tomorrow's wars today. The result is a book both hilarious and hair-raising that poses profound ethical questions about the creation and use of ever more powerful killing machines.aaGideon Yago, writer, "MTV News" aBlew my f***ing minda]This book is awesome.a aJohn Stewart, "The Daily Show "A superb booka]If you read Wired for War you'll actually get a sense for the complexities that we are creating. We're not making a simpler world with these robots I don't think at all, I think we're making a more complex world, and that is something I got from this great book. aGeneral James Mattis, USMC, NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation and the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command "In his latest work, "Wired for War," Singer confesses his passion for science fiction as he introduces us to a glimpse of things to comeathe new technologies that will shape wars of the future. His new book addresses some ominous and little-discussed questions about the military, technology, andmachinery." a "Harperas" .,."A vivid picture of the current controversies and dazzling possibilities of war in the digital age." a"Kirkus Reviews" aGenuinely Provocativea a "Book Forum" "a]Full of vignettes on the use of robotics, first-person interviews with end- users, what has occurred in the robotics industry in its support of the nation, and what is "coming soon." Some of the new ideas are just downright mind-blowing..." aThe Armchair General "An admitted war geek, P.W. Singer obsessesaover the course of 400-plus pagesa about the growing role of robots in combat. His tone is oddly jovial considering the unsettling subject matter, but you won't find a more comprehensive look at mechanized death outside science fiction." a"Details Magazine" "If you want the whole story of remote warfare, pick up a copy of Wired for War, in which Peter Singer, a fellow of the non-profit Brookings Institution in Washington DC, exhaustively documents the Pentagon's penchant for robotics. Think of it as the next step in the mechanisation of war: swords and arrows, guns, artillery, rockets, bombers, robots." a "The New Scientist" aP.W. Singer has fashioned a definitive text on the future of war around the subject of robots. In no previous book have I gotten such an intrinsic sense of what the military future will be.a a Robert Kaplan, author of "Imperial Grunts" a"Wired for War" is a wild ride. Drawing from sources spanning popular culture and hard science, Singer reveals how the relationship between man and robot is changing the nature of warfare. He details technology that has, until now, been the stuff of science fiction: lethal machines that can walk on water or hover outside windows, machines joined in networks or thinking for themselves. Singeras appreciation for the human minds behind these machines is real, but so is his warning that the implications of this revolution are poorly understood.a a Howard Gordon, writer and executive producer of "24, The X-Files," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" aSinger's book is as important (very) as it is readable (highly), as much a fascinating account of new technology as it is a challenging appraisal of the strategic, political and ethical questions that we must now face. This book needs to be widely read --not just within the defense community but by anyone interested in the most fundamental questions of how our and other societies will look at war itself.a a Anthony Lake, 18th U.S. National Security Advisor aWill wars someday be fought by Terminator-like machines? In this provocative and entertaining new book, one of our brightest young strategic thinkers suggests the answer may well be ayes.a Singeras sprightly survey of robotics technology takes the reader from battlefields and cutting-edge research labs to the dreams of science fictionwriters. In the process, he forces us to grapple with the strategic and ethical implications of the anew new thinga in war.a a Max Boot, author of "The Savage Wars of Peace" and "War Made New," aLively, penetrating, and wise ... A warmly human (even humorous) account of robotics and other military technologies that focuses where it should: on us.a Richard Danzig, 71st Secretary of the Navy aWeaving together immaculate academic research with a fan boy's lexicon of popular culture, "Wired for War" looks at the people and technologies beta-testing tomorrow's wars today. The result is a book both hilarious and hair-raising that poses profound ethical questions about the creation and use of ever more powerful killing machines.a aGideon Yago, writer, "MTV News" aItas not science fiction, itas not fantasy, itas here now. Read "Wired For War,"a Robert Young Pelton, author of "The Worldas Most Dangerous Places"
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About P. W. Singer

Dr Singer is considered one the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He has written for the full range of major media and journals, including Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New Times, amongst many others. He is also the author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry and Children at War. He is also a founder and organizer of the US-Islamic World Forum, a global conference that brings together leaders from across the US and the Muslim world.
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Table of contents

Wired For WarAuthor's Note: Why a Book on Robots and War?
Part One: The Change We Are Creating
1. Introduction: Scenes from a Robot War
2. Smart Bombs, Norma Jeane, and Defecating Ducks: A Short History of Robotics
3. Robotics for Dummies
4. To Infinity and Beyond: The Power of Exponential Trends
5. Coming Soon to a Battlefield Near You: The Next Wave of Warbots
6. Always in the Loop? The Arming and Autonomy of Robots
7. Robotic Gods: Our Machine Creators
8. What Inspires Them: Science Fiction's Impact on Science Reality
9. The Refuseniks: The Roboticists Who Just Say No
Part Two: What Change Is Creating For Us
10. The Big Cebrowski and the Real RMA: Thinking About Revolutionary Technologies
11. "Advanced" Warfare: How We Might Fight with Robots
12. Robots That Don't Like Apple Pi: How the U.S. Could Lose the Unmanned Revolution
13. Open-Source Warfare: College Kids, Terrorists, and Other New Users of Robots at War
14. Losers and Luddites: The Changing Battlefields Robots Will Fight On and the New Electronic Sparks of War
15. The Psychology of Warbots
16. YouTube War: The Public and Its Unmanned Wars
17. Changing the Experience of War and the Warrior
18. Command and Control . . . Alt-Delete: New Technologies and Their Effect on Leadership
19. Who Let You in the War? Technology and the New Demographics of Conflict
20. Digitizing the Laws of War and Other Issues of (Un)Human Rights
21. A Robot Revolt? Talking About Robot Ethics
22. Conclusion: The Duality of Robots and Humans
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
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Rating details

1,727 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 31% (535)
4 43% (734)
3 20% (347)
2 5% (85)
1 2% (26)

Our customer reviews

This book is an excellent view on how robotics is changing the world today. It is well researched and also goes into the history of how we got into this situation and where we are heading. This is not about some possible far future. This is about military robots that are actually deployed today. They say war never changes but when I read about how people wage war in 9-5 jobs through robot drone fleets I started to doubt that. While 80% of the book deals with these topics the last chapters are dedicated to the state of warfare and society today. In them the author veers off from the main subject and speculates heavily on how the society of the future will look.show more
by ILIAN VIRGIL
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