DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s

The Strategic Computing Initiative (SCI) was a program our military pursued for ten years. It was proposed in 1983 and flourished through the final phase of the Cold War. Its aim was to enable interconnected super computers and robots with artificial intelligence in order to automate spying, reconnaissance, threat response, and even warfare. It was sold to Congress as being an economic boost to the U.S. as the technology developed would spin off useful applications to the business world and the civilian population.

Paleofuture looks at three of the most visible programs of the SCI: the Autonomous Land Vehicle, a robotic, driverless truck; the Pilot's Associate, an R2D2-like computer to help fighter pilots calculate all incoming data; and the Battle Management System, an overarching network that would keep track and analyze data from the enemy and initiate the appropriate response. Together with other lesser-known programs, the completed SCI would resemble a certain entity we remember so well from the Terminator movies. But the SCI never made it all the way to "becoming self-aware in 1997," as you'll see at Paleofuture. -via Digg

(Image credit: DoD Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap FY2011-2036)

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