Visions of Swarming Robots: Artificial Intelligence and Stupidity in the Military-Industrial Projection of the Future of Warfare

  • Patrick CroganEmail author
Part of the Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI book series (SOCUSRA)


This chapter brings a philosophical perspective to a critical engagement with the analysis, speculation, and recommendations for the future development and deployment of lethal autonomous robotic systems such as they appear in reports, studies, and presentations emanating from the US military-industrial complex. In particular, Bernard Stiegler’s philosophy of technology and how it relates to human cultural and political endeavors—including in the domain of military conflict—is brought to bear on projections of the development of artificially intelligent swarming in future war. The discussion focuses on the Center for a New American Security’s “Future of Warfare” research initiative because of its consolidation of the theoretical and logistical arguments for the adoption of swarming robotic elements in the application of military force. A critique of these efforts is made which argues that a problematic, voluntary stupidity animates these efforts to clear the way toward a much greater delegation of the exercise of lethal force to automated robotic systems.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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