Rise of the Machines

2012, Technology  -   51 Comments
Ratings: 7.18/10 from 22 users.

Rise of the MachinesMost people see drones as a controversial weapon prowling over foreign battlegrounds. But as America's military campaigns wind down, these machines are coming home and set to change civilian lives forever.

"This is a powerful technology. No amount of hand-wringing is going to stop it", says drone expert, Peter Singer. Whether it's a floating TV station streaming live to the web, the prying lens of the paparazzi, the police chasing a criminal or a government agency spying, small domestic drones are experiencing an exponential growth.

At the world's largest drone convention in Las Vegas a salesman tells the crowd, "this can be used in law enforcement, disaster relief and industrial applications. It's also very good at dusting floors. Every home owner should have one".

And as the technology advances at a frightening speed, anyone with a few hundred dollars can buy one over the counter.

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51 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Ian Grant

    That appalling narrator!!! The guy was apparently totally incapable of delivering ONE sentence conversationally, without pausing at every second word - and worse than that, he delivered EVERY sentence with exactly the same inflections, irrespective of the meaning to be conveyed. A pompous, ignorant trendoid and a crushing bore to have to listen to! I turned off in total annoyance. If he would care to contact me, I will happily give him a lesson or two in conversational narration. He should be sacked from the job as he is incapable of performing it.

  2. ScruffyCnut

    WIND DOWN ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  3. Filip

    We need a world war 3.. Americans especially because they dont know how it feels / how life is like when war is being fought on your OWN SOIL.. they always f--king go somewhere's else, Iraq, Iran, Afganistan is not a war-- its an attack.. once a country gets on american soil, then it is a war.. f--kin hate americans... CANADIANS and PEACEFULLNESS is the way to go!

  4. Dwayne Murdock

    Please try telling that bull**** to the children of Dafur and the Middle East, Matt...

  5. Matt Kukowski

    Hardware: Computer chips are exponentially shrinking in size and power consumption, while the CPU/GPU speed only increases at the same rate!

    Software: With the advancement of 'feed back' style software design... where before A.I. was hundreds of years away is now only a few decades... besides all that, software programming is becoming more accessible (Opensource & Linux) and easier to program with languages like PHP, Python, JavaScript. etc (although not all too easy for most) ...

    Look for A.I. on you-tube and what the Universities are doing.

    Marry this with robotics or drones... basically hi tech RC planes with cameras, guns, transmission equip and used to Lift and Build things.

    You know... Nerd Stuff.

  6. Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    This guy is such an ignorant

  7. Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    Alex Jones, you are such an I*iot. I 've seen you too often in youtube. Sorry, you have a very short sight view

  8. PaulGloor

    One can only hope they don't go making those halflife 2 'hacker drones' and setting them loose on people... I better buy an aluminum bat.

    As far as the technology goes, its already out there, if it was gonna be used for ill, it would have or will be regardless of regulations. All the same arguments can already be applied to existing RC devices, both electric and nitro fueled. It happens that the quad copter, for example, gets the mad face because its not just a helicopter toy, its a load lifting platform and a highly maneuverable and stable one at that lending it easily to programming, surveillance/videography, photography and whatever else a creative mind can strap to it. All of these things technically can be done with regular model aircraft anyway so the question is, why is the interest now and not decades ago already ?

    1. Matt Kukowski

      @PaulGloor It is because you-tube and war and fear are the fuel for all this Fear of the Drone Attack. quad-copter is slick. It is just about reducing labor and coming up with automated ways.

  9. Angel Rincon

    With technology surpassing our humanity I can only expect the worst.

  10. skibee

    interesting, thanks

  11. deliaruhe

    We in Canada have had a couple dozen US drones patrolling the border with Canada for several years now. And when the US military gets bored with slaughtering suspicious-looking Muslim men, along with their wives, children, and friends, I have no doubt they'll be arming these border drones and launching hellfire missiles at Canadian pot growers trying to make their deliveries to US customers.

    That's symbolic of a whole raft of consequences of living next to the most paranoid and most heavily armed country (both civilians and military) on the planet. Geography is destiny.

    1. skibee

      u saying, the canadian dealers only want U.S. money ?? haha

      paranoid?? i'd say controlled......

      and sure, we're armed, w/the gov. we have here - - we may

      just be using them someday for protection from them....

      live free or die ~*

  12. KsDevil

    This neat. It won't be long before Radio Shack sells these things.
    Just a quick search and I already found quadcopter kits from $30 to $500.
    If you want to sun bathe, you may need to take a gun with you to shoot down some hormonal kid's toy flying over your property.
    I like the idea of protestors using these to keep an eye on over-zealous police.
    Who needs wikileaks when you can capture your own government coverups?

  13. qigongdoctor

    Reading the comments section is more chilling than the article.

  14. fonbindelhofas

    hm, i must say i do not really see difference between kamikaze drone and real kamikaze or suicide bomber. drone is simply piloted by a coward. oh and one more thing, one of the reasons why drones are so popular with usa military is that people pilots might refuse to blow up citys full of people

    1. Harry Nutzack

      actually, our "people pilots" are for the most part evangelical christians. they have no problem with wholesale slaughter, and never have. the drones are so popular because the folks piloting them are in no danger of capture.if you look at our post ww2 military history, you see the most galvanizing force against our participation in wars has been the POW issue. in both korea and vietnam pilots were most often taken prisoner. folks werent haunted by the piles of dead at the chosin resevoir, or hue, or khe san, but by those grainy films of pows trotted out for display. no pilot on board, no prisoner to be taken. no prisoner, no problem from the public.

    2. Imightberiding

      Your entire comment contradicts your statement: " I do not really see difference between kamikaze drone and real kamikaze or suicide bomber". You then go on to clearly explain the differences between the two in your comment.

      Of course there are glaring differences. The least not that the drone pilot is immune to physical harm or death. Does that not make it just a little bit easier to pilot & activate the payloads if you are safely ensconced in a bunker or office building rather than risking your own @ss while actually flying a real plane or fighter jet?

      Hmmm... I must say: I can't really see the difference either between kamikaze drone pilots & real pilots. Just like you said. Reality much?

  15. David Williams

    Alex Jones is right on the money.

  16. Imightberiding

    This short doc is well worth the time. Scary & thought provoking on many levels. Dread the drones? Embrace the eloquent grace of the humming birds? It appears as fast as our technology advances, we struggle all the more to even keep pace with the concepts let alone the realities of our world today & tomorrow.

    If this past decade is any indication as to how technology has exploded & proliferated across the globe I would think the estimates of: "By 2020 there will be as many as 30 000 drones in the sky" is woefully short sighted.

  17. Harry Nutzack

    some great points made in the doc, but some others are completely ignored. with a couple thousand bucks, and a bit of motivation, 4 mini-drones in formation with a small metal "spine" on each can bring down any jet aircraft. a single drone like those 4 rotor jobs that seem so popular can become the ultimate "car crash inducer" assassination device. the police could use them to harrass a suspect into shooting at one in a fit of paranoid rage, and thus manufacture a "shots fired" call to give them reason to enter an otherwise protected from search home. i honestly see very little actual benefit, and almost unlimited opportunity for abuse in this technology. blackmail, industrial espionage, illegal surveillance, and a host of other fairly untracable mischief is possible. of course, it also opens a market for "drone countermeasures" (jammers, monofilament netting to string along your property, etc). potentially very scary toys.

  18. thisismyspamemail

    They were not ND cattle rustlers. Some other farmers cows...not many mind you...wandered onto his property and he fed them and took care of them not realizing they were someone elses. so when the non efficient farmer came to get them....the farmer who had taken care of the wandering cows said no. I can imagine the cost of taking care of someone else's cattle is no cheap expense. There was no "rustling" and I think it is a crime drones were used against an american Farmer.

  19. wald0

    Can you imagine the UFO reports when they start making these for specialized jobs and putting lots of theme in the sky? Or some of the odd police reports that will be filed- "No, really!! I am serious officer, a humming-bird flew through my bathroom window and stole my joint right out of my mouth." (LOL) Civilian surveilance and commercial drones- sounds scary to me. I mean besides the obvious loss of privacy issues what happens if one falls on your car or home? What happens when some wierdo converts some commercial drone into a missile and takes out a foot ball game or some other large public event? Google Earth already lets anyone that wants get a over head picture of your property, now they can buy a drone strap on a bomb and fly it right into your back yard.

    1. brianrose87

      What about when they can use a drone to kill an American citizen without a trial? Oh...wait... they did that last year.

      Everything you mentioned is excellent for reflection on where we are headed, but the fact is that we live in a country where an American citizen HAS been killed by a drone without trial. This is no longer a hypothetical.

      "Anwar al-Awlaki was a radical American-born Muslim cleric who became a leading figure in Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. He was killed there on Sept. 30, 2011, by a missile fired from an American drone aircraft."

      Granted this American citizen was a real and present threat, but the precedent set by this event is chilling.

    2. Harry Nutzack

      what difference does his being an american citizen make? nowhere in the constitution does it say the right to trial is reserved for citizens. nor does it say the protections from cruel and unusual punishment are only for citizens. nor habeus corpus. sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. what is most egregious about our drone assassination technology is we use it to kill for "mind crime". we kill for speech. we kill for advocacy. we fire a missile at those who do EXACTLY what our politicians do. if "killing one of our own" is your only problem with this program, perhaps your "moral compass" needs a re-calibration.

    3. brianrose87

      "killing one of our own" was meant to be a shocking, eye opening, recent, and well documented example. I was not stating or implying that it is the only egregious act involving drone technology, but that its the starkest example, and shows a worsening progression of violations of conduct.

      The wider population has a tendency to be complacent about shocking news that doesn't directly affect them. I used the example of drones killing an American citizen without trial to make the realitiy more personable, and thus more likely to lead to personal action by other U.S. citizens.

      You and I are in agreement.

      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    4. Harry Nutzack

      in that case, brian, my apologies for the venting of bile on your penny loafers. these days i jump too quickly to the assumption that folks hold the double standard of conduct all too often exhibited by our fellow americans. i stand corrected, and chagrined

  20. chard01

    these drones fly, science finds mimicing walking hard. so walk hide gait, in say duffelcoat to work station our cubicle. silently as voice recognition may give you away isnt the present swell so science mimics religion and the kicker we are all broke forever oh i sleep well in dreary bedsit

  21. Joe

    resistance is futile we are screwed

  22. Sieben Stern

    using apple as the pinnacle for democratizing technology is laughable.

    1. slpsa

      I'm eating an apple as we speak. Is that bad?

    2. David Williams

      You are correct. Besides, it is disseminating technology NOT democratizing it.

  23. malcome jones

    Imagine drones flying over London, New York, Paris, Rome ?

    I have watched many documentary's on this site and have found it to be informative and entertaining.
    I have never posted comments before but now think that i should.... I'm sure you are all familiar with this ?

    I HAVEN'T WATCHED IT YET BUT.....these are people that just want their voice to be heard, and are first poster posers.

    YOU WILL BURN IN HELL.......these people will try to turn any discussion on a documentary onto the subject of religion.

    IT WAS GOOD/ BAD/ POOR......people who actually watch the documentary and comment on it

    WHAT THE F**k!!! WAS THAT.....people with a sense of humor,,,some funny, some very funny, some who need therapy

    1. slpsa

      I want to be the first to congratulate you. You win the first angry poster of the day award. Let me guess. You are religious? I cannot put my finger on why I might lean in that direction, but there is something to your anger that has sky fairy people written all over it. They will probably delete your post anyways, but good job, you win.

    2. Jeremy Hughes

      Bro, re read his post, I think you maybe mis judged what he was saying?

    3. slpsa

      I had to smoke one to see it perhaps. You may have been right. Or not. I still can't tell. lol. My intellectual giganticness has failed.

    4. I AM POP SLAG.

      and the smug, dismissive, passive-aggressive, "feigning indifference whilst secretly hunting a flame war" poster of the week award goes to...
      not trying to insult you or start an argument...
      that sort of thing is beneath me... just saying, byut it doesnt matter YOU win... even though youy werent trying of course...
      you smug mealy mouthed wazzock.
      If your gonna insult just do it-

    5. slpsa

      Excellent comeback. Even if it is twaddle tosh. Your posts always entertain. Never heard that expression, a mealy mouthed wazzock. You must be from The south of England with such a fine expression of words and subtle insults. It actually made me smile. As you know, the southern breeds tend to get a tad ahead of their tongues when expressing a meaning fervently or what appears to be clearly. It gets lost in the translation somehow.....But funny guy, yeah. Usually you are.

    6. I AM POP SLAG.

      Wazzock: Mild insult, one who is foolish, one who has made an arse of themselves, one who is rather daft.
      Mealy-mouthed:Unwilling to state facts or opinions simply and directly.
      North of england, we dont do subtle up here...

    7. slpsa

      haha. Excellent. I have been schooled mate. Born in Bolton I was, transplanted to Canada as a teen. I honestly have never heard that expression before, but then again, its been a decade and a half since I visited. Language has moved forward. I have stagnated. Except for having the odd drink on English Pub row in Toronto, I do not see many of my countrymen around these parts. I can now imagine that expression being spoken in a gruff Yorkshire grumbly old soddy voice. Thanks for a good laugh, even if ya was takin the piss mate.

    8. Malcome

      Cant believe you have never heard the term "Wazzock" before, if you were born in Bolton.
      Spawny eyed, Parrot Faced Wazzock...Was a term often used by the "Rochdale Cowboy"
      If is been 15 years since you visited, dont worry, Bolton has stagnated more than you

    9. I AM POP SLAG.

      sometimes i think england is s*it- im not wrong but amongst the turds of mediocre phraseology and the sanitised bureaucracy of our everyday discourse lie some of the shiniest gems of thoughtful, finely crafted bespoke and situationally perfect insults.

      Spawny eyed, Parrot Faced Wazzock- a classic
      up there with Smarmy wanker and my personal favourites "cack-handed incompetent" and "useless f&ckwit"

    10. Malcome

      Thanks for the congratulations, but im not religious or angry, just making a comment on the documentary and observing other peoples views...Dont understand why they would delete my posts, as we are all entitled to an opinion.
      Maybe im just nieve and read other peoples comments to find out weather or not the documentary is worth watching

    11. slpsa

      I misread the comment, my sincere apologies good sir. Ah yeah, the folk singer! Now I recall..... but I was a pretty sheltered lad, not much music, or comedy involved. I spent my time studying and crunching numbers, as opposed to footy, pubs and girls. I was skint as well in my younger years, not a pound to spend on anything but the basics. From fifteen on, I was educated in Canada. I missed out on being cool. lol. I guess you could call me a " nerd " or " bookworm ".

    12. malcome jones

      Nowt wrong with being a Nerd

    13. I AM POP SLAG.

      You WILL burn in hell for slandering the ehem "intellectual giants" of this forum-
      it was incredibly ominous and with a great sense of foreboding i decided not to watch it- but i know it was pretty good because no -one is paying anywhere near as much attention as they should be to the FLEETS OF AUTOMATED MURDERBOTS!
      WHAT THE ****? its like terminator was never made!-
      dont say you were not warned-
      its there in ezekiel chapter 9 verse 11
      "and the lord spake- "and thou shalt wilt see as the armys of the devils robots strafeth the godly and holy non-homosexual, white people of the USA" (King james edition-scientology interpretation version4.1.3.2)
      Repent! bring down skynet its being run by interdimensional lizards- (you forgot the lizards)- they live in satans pyramid scheme dont you know? and the CIA are in cahoots with them along with president Obama, Bill Oreilly and big bird.
      "big bird" get it? its code for drone -its all part of the mind control conditioning...spooky huh? coincidence? i dont think so!
      WAke up America !
      seriously I mean that last one...

    14. Richard T

      Great comment! FYI I highly suggest you listen to the No Agenda podcast (if you dont already)... You would love it. n o a g e n d a n a t i o n . c o m (just so it is not a clickable link, remove the spaces)

  24. slpsa

    It gives one pause to consider how these weapons and reconnaissance platforms could be used against a country's own citizens. They admit they fly drones over the Canadian/American border, especially the parts with water as the divide, to keep an eye on things. Hmmm. Things. That leaves the door open just a tad. They have been doing this for sometime now, not many people know about it though. It makes me a tad uncomfortable. Those darn yanks, always stirring up trouble. You have to wonder if they would put Black Jack Shellaque in Gitmo for taking potshots with his popgun at those drones.

  25. Algonquin Gear Reviews

    oh man. sure it's interesting, and maybe even amazing.. but in actuality this is not good at all..

    1. slpsa

      You got to admit, those mini drones at the start, flying as a group? Imagine those on a larger level, with big guns. Scary stuff. Indeed. If they can make it that small, like those ones, they can make it big too. Bet on it. The engineering now goes both ways, big or small. Small is for recon, big is for blowing stuff up. No doubt they have large working versions in the works, or hiding at the Skunk Works. Etc. If you can imagine it, they probably have it, ten years ago type of thing.

    2. Chris Morgan

      I read a comment that indicated alex, alec whatever, jones is affiliated in some way with this doc. I cannot stand that pompous ass, what an ego on that guy. I can't stand that guy for even a second. I know our government lies and manipulates us but i refuse to believe our government helped out on 911 or participated in it. Maybe they knew SOMETHING was going to happen soon because of intelligence info but the crowd who takes those conspiracy theories as the truth and watch "Documentaries" like "loose change" are a bunch of idiots.