P.W. Singer, author of Wired for War, joins us this week to talk about the subject of robots in the military and the intersection between video games and war. John and Dave consider some of the science fiction works that influenced the development of robots as we know them.
0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:42 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: P.W. Singer
01:14 About author Peter Warren Singer, his book Wired for War. and his other works: Corporate Warriors: the Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, and Children at War
02:12 Interview begins
02:22 War robots in use today in air and on land, from the Predator drone to medic robots REX and REV
04:29 Undersea military robots, including the Robolobster. We are not making this up.
05:19 Robots in the new domains: outer space and cyberspace
05:59 Are military robots really a step forward?
07:52 Soldiers and their relationship to military robots
09:43 Combat pilots vs. drone pilots
13:18 Big butts and strong bladders: how technology affects roles in modern warfare
14:25 The relationship between video games and war: games patterned after war, and training soldiers using video games
16:25 A side effect of “militainment”: Avatar Fatigue
16:57 When should we buy our robot attack insurance? On strong AI and self-will
19:09 Ways in which robots could be used against us, and the Open Source Warfare phenomenon
21:12 “Oops” moments with your robot, both comical and tragic
22:13 Robots, the law, and accountability
23:53 Robots, wetware, and the Luke Skywalker Effect: the present and future of cyborgs
26:04 Androids: why would we make robots look and work like us?
28:11 Why is science fiction better at predicting the future than government is?
31:16 End of interview
Dave and John talk about some of the science fiction works mentioned during the interview
32:05 I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, and the Three Laws of Robotics
34:47 Dave talks about one of the short stories in I, Robot, “Liar”
37:03 John talks about Robocop 2 and its Three Directives
41:36 Short story, “Descendent” by Iain M. Banks
41:59 Armor by John Steakley
43:20 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
44:47 Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
46:00 Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
47:06 Movies: Terminator and The Matrix
51:53 Dave on Robocop and the portrayal of corporations in films
53:20 More on the influence of Starship Troopers
53:58 More on I, Robot, the movie vs. the book
01:00:13 Show wrap-up
Next week: Marjorie M. Liu, Marvel Comics writer of NYX and Dark Wolverine and author of the Hunter Kiss and Dirk and Steele series.
Thanks for listening!
John Joseph Adams (www.johnjosephadams.com) is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. He is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and is currently the fiction editor of Lightspeed Magazine, which launches in June 2010.
David Barr Kirtley (www.davidbarrkirtley.com) is a writer living in New York who has been called “one of the newest and freshest voices in sf.” His short fiction appears in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and in anthologies such as The Living Dead, New Voices in Science Fiction, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition.