Army’s Mad Scientist Lab Recommends Books & Movies on Tech & War

Mad Scientist Laboratory is a U.S. Army initiative that focuses on emerging tech and future warfare.

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Warfare featuring artificial intelligence, autonomous machines, and even superhuman individuals is no longer confined to the realm of speculative fiction. And the U.S. Army knows it. Its Mad Scientist Laboratory initiative is dedicated to focusing on emerging technology and future warfare. And on April 18, Mad Scientist published a blog post recommending some books and movies that can help stimulate thought on how tech will transform the battlefields of tomorrow.

The Mad Scientist Laboratory does the usual stuff that you’d guess a think tank that focuses on future warfare would do. But it’s also heavily interested in fiction and how that can help people think about how emerging and future tech will change things.

So in addition to encouraging people to write stories specifically for its mission, Mad Scientist highlights outside books and movies—fiction and nonfiction alike.

Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to introduce a new, quarterly feature, entitled “The Monolith.” Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick fans alike will recognize and appreciate our allusion to the alien artifact responsible for “uplifting” mankind from primitive, defenseless hominids into tool using killers — destined for the stars — from their respective short story, “The Sentinel,” and movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” We hope that you will similarly benefit from this post (although perhaps in not quite so evolutionary a manner!), reflecting the Mad Scientist Teams’ collective book and movie recommendations — Enjoy!

Two of the Hollywood movie recommendations were Ex Machina, and the 1980s movie Runaway.

Ex Machina (see trailer at the top of the page) is a story about artificial intelligence, something military leaders are highly interested in right now. Meanwhile, Runaway (a movie I hadn’t heard of) features a variety of emerging tech and applications that may one day be found on the battlefield, including personalized warfare and steerable bullets (see clip immediately below).

Visit the Mad Scientist post for the rest of its initial recommendations of books and movies.

And if you’re interested in reading more about future technology and warfare (with some theological considerations thrown in), read my in-depth article, “The Coming of the Superhuman Warrior: How Will Christians Respond?” at The Security and Culture Intelligencer.

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