Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Emotional Attachment To Robots Could Affect Battlefield Outcome 194

vinces99 writes "It's becoming more common to have robots sub for humans to do dirty or sometimes dangerous work. But researchers are finding that, in some cases, people have started to treat robots like pets, friends or even as an extension of themselves. That raises a question: If a soldier attaches human or animal-like characteristics to a field robot, can it affect how they use the robot? What if they 'care' too much about the robot to send it into a dangerous situation? Julie Carpenter, who just received a doctorate in education from the University of Washington, wanted to find out. She interviewed Explosive Ordnance Disposal military personnel – highly trained soldiers who use robots to disarm explosives – about how they feel about the robots they work with every day. What she found is that troops' relationships with robots continue to evolve as the technology changes. Soldiers told her that attachment to their robots didn't affect their performance, yet acknowledged they felt a range of emotions such as frustration, anger and even sadness when their field robot was destroyed. That makes Carpenter wonder whether outcomes on the battlefield could potentially be compromised by human-robot attachment, or the feeling of self-extension into the robot described by some operators."

Security By Obscurity — a New Theory 265

mikejuk writes "Kerckhoffs' Principle suggests that there is no security by obscurity — but perhaps there is. A recent paper by Dusko Pavlovic suggests that security is a game of incomplete information and the more you can do to keep your opponent in the dark, the better. In addition to considering the attacker's computing power limits, he also thinks it's worth considering limits on their logic or programming capabilities (PDF). He recommends obscurity plus a little reactive security in response to an attacker probing the system. In this case, instead of having to protect against every possible attack vector, you can just defend against the attack that has been or is about to be launched."

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.