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USA and France have just hired services from companies like Microsoft to equip their armies with technological elements for combat
Technological innovation is so wonderful and constant that it can serve in any field. However, its most recent uses have opened the controversy: the armies of the United States and France have just been introduced in technology to enhance its effectiveness and lethality in combat, raising several detractors. What technological elements will they use in their operations?
Leer en español: La tecnología está al servicio de la guerra
US Army US: lenses to improve all your senses
The powerful technology company Microsoft signed a contract with the US Army for 480 million dollars to equip its soldiers with 100,000 units of mixed reality glasses (combination of virtual reality and augmented reality), called HoloLens. The agreement came to light the first days of December.
According to the BBC, the North American government affirmed that the HoloLens "will increase the lethal capacity of the soldiers when improving the detection ability, decision, and confrontation to the enemy". The glasses are capable of reproducing holograms on real images and of working autonomously since it does not need any computer or cell phone to function.
The lenses, created by the Brazilian engineer Alex Kipman, will multiply the skills of the soldiers thanks to features such as night vision, hearing protection, and Wi-Fi connection. In addition, according to the BBC, the lenses have thermal sensors capable of monitoring concussions as well as measuring vital signs such as breathing and reading ability.
El ejército de los EE.UU. usará las HoloLens de Microsoft en el campo de batalla pic.twitter.com/Ufbwpmz5rN— Camilo Bretón (@buxawofynej) 29 de noviembre de 2018
Army of France: flying skateboard
On November 24, at the Defense Research Forum, the French Army presented the Flyboard Air, a flying skateboard developed by Franky Zapata, pilot and French businessman specialized in the creation of water and air vehicles.
In the demonstration of innovation and military might, a pilot maneuvered the flying skateboard over the Seine River in Paris, demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of this device. According to CNN, the Zapata company states that the Flyboard Air has a flight time of 10 minutes and can reach a maximum speed of 150 km / h.
The Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi, stated in his official Twitter account that "this is a military hoverboard. Our army must always be at the forefront of innovation. " The Flyboard Air has developed successfully thanks to the government funding received by Zapata, estimated at 1.5 million dollars, with the aim of improving the device for military use.
According to Infobae, the main objectives of the Flyboard Air are to neutralize armed men in recognition tasks, evacuate wounded, execute urban combat and work in anti-terrorist work, in addition to other war activities. "Innovation is in action with this flyboard, which is essential to prepare tomorrow's matches," said Florence Parly, the French defense minister.
Ceci est un overboard militaire. Notre armée se doit d’être toujours à la pointe de l’innovation.— Mounir Mahjoubi (@mounir) November 24, 2018
Fier avec @florence_parly au Forum de l’innovation et de la défense pour échanger avec des innovateurs de la Nation. pic.twitter.com/aUXG6d9wxj
People do not want technology to be at the service of war
Millions of people in the world defend the position that technology should serve humanity, seeking its welfare, and should not be developed to hurt or destroy it. This is also the thinking of hundreds of employees of Microsoft, a company that signed the contract with the US Army to equip it with the HoloLens.
According to the BBC, these employees issued a statement in mid-October in which they asked Microsoft to withdraw from the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) project with which they would work for the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The employees demanded that the technologies not be used to cause pain or human suffering. " If Microsoft is responsible for the products and services it manufactures, we need to establish clear ethical lines, " the statement said.
However, Brad Smith, president, and legal director of Microsoft said the company will continue to sell its software to the US military, and employees who have ethical differences with the developed projects can change their jobs within the company.
The employees of Microsoft are not the only ones to have this position of rejection of technology serving the war, as Google workers protested in the middle of this year and caused the company not to renew its Maven project, which developed artificial intelligence with the Pentagon. "We believe that Google should not participate in the business of war," the company said after withdrawing its project, according to the BBC.
For now, the technology will begin work strongly in the service of war, without having a prior warning or study of the seriousness of the consequences that this could have. The controversy has just arisen.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "¿La tecnología está al servicio de la guerra?"