Memex (Ch. 30) – Bionic Bug Podcast Episode 030 – Natasha Bajema

Memex (Ch. 30) – Bionic Bug Podcast Episode 030

Hey everyone, welcome back to Bionic Bug podcast! You’re listening to episode 30. This is your host Natasha Bajema, fiction author, futurist, and national security expert. I’m recording this episode on November 18, 2018.

First off, a personal update. I’m excited to announce that I’m in the midst of producing an audio book for Bionic Bug.I’m currently auditioning professional narrators and expect the project to be finished in early 2019.

I apologize for the break in releasing podcast episodes. I’ve been recovering from a nasty sinus infection the past few weeks, and my voice continues to be scratchy. You’ll probably notice if you listen to the next chapter of Bionic Bug. I hope you enjoyed the bonus episode where I interviewed Samuel Bennett, an expert on robotics, AI and Russia. Check out the episode and the show notes, which include links to his recent publications.

Let’s talk tech. Just two headlines for this week.

Jon and Daenerys United in First Pic from Game of Thrones’ Eighth and Final Season,” published on Nov 1 on

  • “Production on the final season stretched to 10 months and includes another year of post to tackle the challenging visual effects.”
  • “Season 8 is anticipated to showcase what’s being touted as the biggest battle in TV history, which took an unprecedented 55 nights to shoot.”
  • “And the whole process has been so secretive that HBO has taken to deploying “drone killers” to take out any drones that might have been flying above the set to spy on the action.”
  • HBO Literally Shooting Down Drones To Prevent Game of Thrones Season 8 Spoilers
  • “Shaped like a gun, a “drone killer” is aimed at any flying nuisance and shoots out a beam, disabling the drone and driving it back down to the ground. IXI Technology in Yorba Linda, California is responsible for the technology, which costs about $30,000 a pop. The company’s also supplied new gadgets to the U.S. military for over three decades.”

Are Killer Robots the Future of War? Parsing the Facts on Autonomous Weapons,” published on Nov 15 by Kelsey Atherton in the NY Times.

  • This article addresses a fundamental question: should machines be allowed to make lethal decisions in battle.
  • Until now, these decisions have been made by humans. Even though autonomous systems exist today, a human remains in the loop to make the ultimate decisions on destroying targets.
  • But we’re moving into an era where autonomous systems are becoming more intelligent and thus more capable of making such decisions. One of the challenges is the decision-making speed of machines exceeds that of humans. When one country decides to go fully autonomous on the battlefield, others may be compelled to follow. Because as Paul Scharre has said: speed kills.
  • Check out his book Army of Noneon Amazon.
  • This is a fantastic article to introduce you to the key issues and I encourage you to read it.

Let’s turn to Bionic Bug. Last week, Lara found important clues at Sully’s townhouse, and Rob and Lara got locked in the safe room. Let’s find out what happens next.

The views expressed on this podcast are my own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

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