The US Navy has launched an autonomous submarine hunter. They hope to have a fleet of them within five years. Billion dollar aircraft carriers and multi-billion dollar fleets are increasingly at risk from advances being made by Russia and China. For now, the prototype should be able to operate for two or three months searching for submarines. The incentive is the same that is energizing the trend to automated weaponry;
“The ship’s projected $20m price tag and its $15,000 to $20,000 daily operating cost make it relatively inexpensive for the US military.” – Guardian
while also putting no American lives at risk (as long as there aren’t any mistakes.) At some point the question will be, or has already been asked; “If the fleet is so expensive can it too be automated?” The assertion is that humans will always be involved in the lethal decisions, and that this vessel is unarmed – but that’s the same pattern that’s been followed in the air and on land which eventually led to arming previously unarmed machines.
(Click on the photo for the link.)