This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020


# mod - Tuesday 27 August, 2013

Jean McConville family launch civil action against PSNI & MoD

The mother of ten was abducted, tortured and killed by the IRA in 1972. Her body was found in Louth ten years ago today.

# mod - Saturday 29 December, 2012

From The42 Bradley Wiggins' knighthood 'can't compare' to Weller honour Arise Sir Wiggo

Bradley Wiggins' knighthood 'can't compare' to Weller honour

The Tour de France champion will soon become ‘Sir Brad’ after an epic year.

# mod - Saturday 27 October, 2012

Ministry of Defence munitions stolen from English train

The materials are stable but could be hazardous if tampered with.

# mod - Thursday 20 September, 2012

British soldier gives birth at Afghanistan's Camp Bastion

Female soldier is believed to be the first in the history of the British army to give birth on the front line.

# mod - Tuesday 10 July, 2012

London tower block residents lose appeal against missiles on roof

The missiles are to be placed on the roof of the complex for the duration of the Olympic Games.

# mod - Sunday 27 November, 2011

From The Daily Edge In pics: World of Irish Mods explored in new book Irish Mods This post contains images

In pics: World of Irish Mods explored in new book

A new book explores the world of Irish mods – and features interviews with the scene’s luminaries including David Holmes, Bob Manton (Purple Hearts) and Eddie Pillar (Acid Jazz).

# mod - Tuesday 13 July, 2010

THE BRITISH Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed the future of unmanned fighting in the skies: Taranis.

A prototype of the plane, which has taken more than three million man hours to develop,  was unveiled with plans to launch a working model for flight trials in 2011.

The technology was praised by Defence Minister Gerald Howarth as “the best of our nation’s advanced design and technology”.

It is hoped that Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, will eventually fight combatants by striking targets at long range – even from other continents.

The MoD explains that as “highly trained military crews on the ground” would be in control of the drone plane, targets could be identified from bases thousands of miles away.

However, while the MoD champions the model’s high level of autonomy that very issue has raised serious concerns in other quarters: Critics say that the plane may have difficulty differentiating between combatants and civilians.

Speaking to New Scientist magazine, Noel Sharkey, a robotics engineer specialising in the autonomous military systems, said alarm bells rang for him as he read that the launch information, which explained that the aircraft was a “fully autonomous intelligent system” with applications in “deep missions” and “deep target attack” capability.

Sharkey explained that that “deep mission” is military jargon for “beyond the reach of a remote pilot”.

In other words: the controller on the ground would have no way of identifying the target and the aircraft may decide on its own what constitutes a target.

Sharkey said: “We need to know if this means the robot planes will chose their own targets and destroy them – because they certainly will not have the intelligence to discriminate between civilians and combatants.”

Landmine Action UK have also voiced concerns about autonomous “war robots”, saying that the technology involved in the attack is “as indiscriminate as landmines.”