Meteorite explosions in the Earth's atmosphere as large as the one that destroyed forests in Siberia, with approximately the force of a 12-megaton nuclear blast, occur about once a century. The response of highly automated systems controlled by complex computer programs to unexpected circumstances is unpredictable.

Which of the following conclusions can most properly be drawn, if the statements above are true, about a highly automated nuclear-missile defense system controlled by a complex computer program?

Within a century after its construction, the system would react inappropriately and might accidentally start a nuclear war.

The system would be destroyed if an explosion of a large meteorite occurred in the Earth's atmosphere.

It would be impossible for the system to distinguish the explosion of a large meteorite from the explosion of a nuclear weapon.

Whether the system would respond inappropriately to the explosion of a large meteorite would depend on the location of the blast.

It is not certain what the system's response to the explosion of a large meteorite would be, if its designers did not plan for such a contingency.


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