The US government spent $1 billion in the 1980s trying to build SkynetMatt Novak8/01/14 11:26amFiled to: strategic computing initiativescistar warsronald reagandarpaFactually03EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink Believe it or not, the U.S. government actually spent about $1 billion in the 1980s trying to build a program like Skynet from the Terminator movies. DARPA — an agency that's sometimes called the "mad science" research arm of the Defense Department — worked on developing driverless vehicles, a pilot's assistant like R2-D2, and advanced artificial intelligence to tie it all together. You can read more about DARPA's Strategic Computing Initiative and its similarities to Skynet at Paleofuture. Factually is Gizmodo's new blog of fun facts, interesting photos, and weird trivia. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.