We owe a lot to violence and conflict, as a large part of all our technological innovations stem from violence and conflict. This also makes perfect evolutionary sense. The danger of extinction was a big driver of innovation in the early days. When you have better swords than the rival clan, you automatically know more about swords and metalworking and are much more likely to survive and pass that knowledge on.
You’d think that’s no longer the case – since technological innovations no longer have to rely on killing each other – though you’d be surprised to find that guns are still our best-made tools. Most of our top innovations in automotive, prosthetics, robotics, AI and many other areas are still theorized and developed in a defense lab somewhere.
If you want a glimpse into the future, just take a look at the weapons we are developing right now. From a crowd-control pain beam ̵
8. Invisibility cloak
A working invisibility cloak has long been a staple of fiction, even if in civilian situations it is a pretty creepy idea to think about it for two seconds. Imagine invisibility cloaks being a reality. You would never know if you are really alone in a room.
Apply this to military situations, however, and this honestly weird idea instantly becomes one of the deadliest improvisations we can come up with. If we can build a perfect invisibility cloak, not only do we get perfect camouflage on the battlefield, but we can also be used to develop new, outrageous tactics. Combine this with our innovations in robotics and we may soon have invisible killing robots that can be tricked into doing anything behind enemy lines.
While it would still take some time to create a Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak, we still have plenty of prototypes that are frighteningly close to reality (like this one Canadian Prototype).
Nanobots are like Ant-Man: it doesn’t sound too interesting or powerful at first, but if you actually sit and think about its possible uses to be really, really tiny, you’ll find that it’s actually one of the Ant’s most overpowering skills imaginable. Tiny robots that can perform advanced operations could potentially be used to do anything you want – a fact that military scientists are all too aware.
While we don’t know exactly what the military is developing – since the best prototypes are the ones we don’t know about – some recent research may give us a clue.
WITH Researchers have developed something very close to the appearance of military-grade nanobots. They are no bigger than a grain of sand, float in the air and can continuously produce energy. While it’s still in the future, you might even expect them to have guns of their own.
Exoskeletons are possibly one of the most popular futuristic technologies we know, although this is mostly due to FPS video games and Iron Man. Otherwise, exoskeletons have proven to be quite inefficient in almost all of our previous experiments, either due to the force required to keep them going for extended periods of time or simply due to the heat-based inefficiency of roaming around in a giant metal suit. The idea of a robot suit with cool features is good on paper, but no one made it work. Nobody but the Russians.
An exoskeleton from the Russian The military may have solved many of these problems and may just be the first exoskeleton we’ve seen that actually works. Right now, the prototype allows the soldier to run faster while aiming at a machine gun with just one hand. While there are still not enough batteries to survive a typical battle, they are confident they can solve that and bring a work suit into play by 2025.
The USA’s own exoskeleton program – TALOS – may not be that far behind either, although we don’t know much about it yet.
5. Auto kill zones
There are growing concerns about the continued use of AI in warfare, and rightly so. Automated weapons are one of the greatest threats to life on Earth, and we’re not even talking about rogue AI here. We already have weapon systems that directly challenge the morale of using automated weapons: auto-kill zones.
While Israel is the only country currently using it on the border, other countries are also developing their own versions. This is exactly what it sounds like: no-go zones that are protected by automated weapons and can decide when to attack. This last part is the most worrying as auto-kill zones, by definition, require the machine to answer the call of who should be shot. How do you teach a machine to distinguish between combatants and civilians?
When it comes to weapons of mass destruction, we always think of nuclear weapons or chemical weapons. While they are definitely the deadliest to human life, there are other weapons that can make life on earth very difficult as well. An EMP – or an electromagnetic pulse cannon – is one of them.
It is a theoretical weapon that can wipe out all electronic systems in a given area. If this doesn’t sound life threatening, keep in mind that almost every part of our lives – including heating, GPS, cooking, etc. – depends on electricity. As the world becomes more and more digital, total EMP wiping would hinder life in many ways in most parts of the world. .
We don’t have a full-fledged EMP-Ray device yet – as everyone probably imagines – but we have the technology to build it. Known as CHAMP – short for Counter-Electronics High-Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project – the project has already been successfully tested Utah in 2012 when it was used to shut down a target area’s systems.
3. The pain beam
In light of the fledgling global economy and growing unrest in many major countries around the world, governments are increasingly investing in crowd control technologies to increase their chances of not being toppled by their citizens. For this purpose, many countries have developed a so-called ADS – Active Denial System.
It could be thought of as a giant machine with invisible rays that gently warms your skin and completely burns you from the inside out if you don’t move out of its reach. It’s not fatal, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
As seen in protests around the world, non-lethal weapons are actually used much with impunity as they do not kill and cause a big problem, while still keeping the protesters away from the organization. The ADS System – or a pain beam – can be a good thing to stabilize conflict in many parts of the world without causing loss, although it could also be used to quell dissent at home. Not surprisingly, China is also building its own ADS.
2. X-ray vision
Seeing through walls is another one of those fictional forces that sound cool at first. The more you think about it, the creepier it sounds. However, in combat situations it could be a ridiculously powerful weapon that completely changes the insurrection as we know it.
It’s not too far into the future either. WITH already built an AI that can see through walls except now it can only read the radio waves in the room. That means it takes some kind of input from the room – like a phone signal – to reconstruct it on the screen, and that you can only see the general outline with stick figures.
While this is not the perfect X-ray image, it is still very close to fully reconstructing any room based only on signals from within.
1. Autonomous cyber weapons
Cyber warfare is one of the greatest threats to global peace, and therefore human life, as anyone who is in control of our digital networks is also in control of our nuclear start codes. Combine that with other emerging technologies like AI and cyber warfare could potentially be just as deadly as any other weapon we’ve ever made.
What is worrying is that this is getting much closer to happening than we may realize. According to many Experts |Automated cyber weapons are the natural next step in the evolution of cyber warfare. An AI that can hack and learn from its mistakes may sound like fiction, although there are plenty of viruses and other malware that can already do so.
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