P.W. Singer Comes to UCSB

Author of Military-Inspired Novels Discusses His Newest Book

Peter Warren Singer, a well-known author, political scientist. and international relations scholar, came to the UCSB Campbell hall last Thursday. He was promoting the newest addition to his already impressive lineup of military-inspired novels, Wired for War. Singer gave a lecture on the issues surrounding his book including the future of robotic warfare in the world.

Co-presented with the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and USCB Center for Nanotechnology in Society, the event featured a lecture presented by Singer, some intriguing still images displaying the past, present, and future of robotics, a book signing, and a question and answer session after the presentation.

Singer began by discussing the ways in which “technology and war have been intimately and brutally linked throughout history…” and described the current and prototype robotic weaponry being utilized by the military in various countries as “inspired by science fiction.” Singer is an expert in his field, and has written two prior war-based novels entitled Children at War and Corporate Warriors in which he also analyzes the details and misconceptions of modern warfare.

The attendees were eager to ask Singer questions about the mechanization of war after the lecture, and he was more than happy to share his answers. One question about the future of war spurred Singer to discuss the possibilities that this new wave of technology is ushering in including a “more deadly form of terrorism — an Al Qaeda 2.0.”

The disconnect between the warriors of today and our military’s new unmanned drones is “changing the meaning of ‘going to war,’” says Singer, and though our technology is far from perfect (malfunctioning robots have caused deaths on more than one occasion) fewer civilian casualties ultimately result when robotic warriors are deployed.

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