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Customer Review

on 26 March 2010
A comprehensive study of the next "Revolution in Military Affairs", the rise of the autonomous fighting robot. Opening with a fascinating history of robots (originally named after the Czech for "serf"), "Wired for War" deals not only with the hardware but also at the strategic, tactical, legal, ethical & moral implications of outsourcing the killing of fellow human beings to emotionless drones & robots. These latter aspects are, for me, the most fascinating as technology rarely (if ever) works in a vacuum but rather impacts on the society using it.

From the effects on present-day US-based killer drone pilots of having to switch from killing insurgents during the day to attending a PTA meeting in the evening to the legal & moral quagmire resulting from ever-greater use of artificial intelligence in warfighting.

The book is written in an easy, journalistic style with plenty of first-person interviews with the key players. One (minor) quibble - the regular cultural references are determinably & obscurely American-centric that will mean nothing to the vast majority of any non-US audience (even the reference to "The Office" refers to the American re-make).

Tat aside, this should be a key text for both policy-makers & military staff colleges as well as the citizens in whose name these systems are being developed and increasingly deployed.
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4.3 out of 5 stars