Given the cost of rearmament and Russia’s economic problems (low oil prices hurts their economy), Russia may refocus its efforts toward unmanned systems. The ability of the Russians to double down in their revanchist efforts, especially seen after Crimea, indicates that this second interpretation is very likely. This has troubling implications for Russia’s already ambiguous hybrid war concept and the future development of weaponized artificial intelligence.
Russia has been seriously pursuing robots as part of their drive for a modern army, even with its enormous cost. The drive for drones is rooted in Russia’s attempt to get past the Soviet model for a military, which famously coined the idea that quantity is its own quality.
Putin’s policies have drawn a clear correlation between military prowess and Russian greatness. If prowess cannot be achieved through conventional means—or at least not with Russia’s economic realities—then drones may be the answer. But this drive for the unmanned will also fuel a fire of further weaponization of artificial intelligence.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a new production facility for military robots and a research center for military robotics. Rogozin says that someday soon, one Russian soldier will do the work that takes five or 10 soldiers today, which would be impossible without advanced robots.
SOURCES – National Interest, Popular Mechanics