Pentagon boffinry chiefs have announced that they would like some self-aware computer systems capable of "meta-reasoning" and "introspection". The plan is to place these machine intelligences in command of heavily armed, well-nigh invulnerable robotic tanks.
This latest plan for humanity's subjugation comes, of course, from DARPA - the agency believed to harbour the largest known group of lifelike people-simulant robots piloted from within by tiny, malevolent space lizard infiltrators in the entire US federal government.
The plan is called Self-Explanation Learning Framework (SELF). It is being handled by Dr Mike Cox of DARPA's renowned Information Processing Technology Office.
According to this presentation (pdf) by Dr Cox:
Without a model of self, cognitive systems remain brittle ...
Goal: Provide machines with an ability to reason about their own reasoning... SELF will enable any learning system to explain and repair itself
Improved goal satisfaction through self-explanation and meta-control module.
Self-explaining systems lead to better calibrated trust for human users.
It seems that DARPA already has a fearful array of "Intelligent Agent" software at its disposal, so Dr Cox would like his future collaborators to "focus fully on the meta-level" as basic Agent-Smith-a-like killer AIs will be provided as "GFE": government furnished equipment.
Assuming the self-aware, self-repairing, self-programming software can be built, one might ask what Dr Cox plans to do with it.
Rather than attempting like any sane person to unplug the whole system at the wall before it eradicates humanity, Cox believes it would be suitable in the "near term" for "armored combat" and "tactical air" missions. Just to make it quite clear what this means, the good doctor - or anyway the lifelike lizard-piloted simulant which long ago replaced the real Cox - helpfully includes pictures of a main battle tank and a jet fighter, two of the most potent engines of destruction available to the modern military.
It is clear that he intends to place his self-aware 'ware in charge of such kit as the frightful 70-ton turbine-powered Abrams, armoured like a mobile Fort Knox and capable of shooting a hole through small mountains.
Bolo, anyone? ®