Watching: Skynet's slow birth

I've banged on about the slow rise of killer robots before - in that slightly mad conspiracist/apocalypsist way I do - but every once in a while a news story pops up that suggests that a Terminator-like future dominated by the buggers is coming one step closer.

This story from Wired is just the latest - nine South African soldiers were killed and fourteen wounded when a robot cannon "malfunctioned" during a test last week. (Or was it just feeling a little emo?)

The anti-aircraft weapon, an Oerlikon GDF-005, is designed to use passive and active radar, as well as laser range finders, to lock on to "high-speed, low-flying aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and cruise missiles." In "automatic mode," the weapon feeds targeting data from the fire control unit straight to the pair of 35mm guns, and reloads on its own when its emptied its magazine.

Think I might just brush up on this book again :)