March 27, 2024
U.S. Military Accelerates AI Adoption to Close the Technology Gap with Rival Nations

U.S. Military Accelerates AI Adoption to Close the Technology Gap with Rival Nations

The AI wave is being chased by everyone, and the US military doesn’t want to be left out.

At a defence innovation meeting on Monday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks revealed the Pentagon’s brand-new Replicator effort. The objective, according to her, is to “field attritable autonomous systems at the scale of multiple thousands, in multiple domains, within the next 18 to 24 months.”

Robots that are “attritable” can be “placed at risk and lost if the mission is of high priority,” according to Hicks; they are essentially the military’s version of pawns on a chessboard. The objective is to quickly create swarms of manoeuvrable, disposable air, land, and marine vehicles.

The main driver, according to Hicks, is China’s expanding military, which the United States will fight with “mass of our own” and American inventiveness.

Only a few sophisticated nations are currently using and researching AI for warfare. China, Russia, Israel, and a few EU members are on a list of countries involved in the AI arms race that can be found on Wikipedia.

So far, the U.S. has focused on defensive rather than attacking applications. This consists of an AI-enabled airspace surveillance system that will be installed near Washington, D.C., according to a formal announcement made on Monday. It promises to improve threat recognition abilities compared to current systems developed after 9/11 by utilizing cutting-edge computer vision technology created by “non-traditional Defense Department vendor” Teleidoscope.

According to the release, the improvement provides “a tenfold increase in performance capability” when it comes to recognizing suspicious planes.

“[The system leverages] market advancements in machine learning and augmented reality features in surveillance cameras that assist air battle managers with their ability to identify flying objects within NCR airspace,” Lt.Col Kurtis Engleson stated in the announcement.

Before receiving a $100 million production contract last month, Teleidoscope’s technology endured 18 months of evaluation. According to Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defence for research and engineering, automation and quicker response times would save time, money, and lives.

“We are able to rapidly identify operational needs and materialize them into usable national defence solutions. This saves time and money, but more importantly, the decision advantage gained by technologies like this will save lives,” she stated.

The Pentagon’s increased investment in artificial intelligence is meant to give the American military cutting-edge capabilities while upholding what Hicks called “our responsible and ethical approach to AI and autonomous systems.”

The technology gap seems to be closing swiftly as rival countries like China and Russia race to implement ever-more sophisticated AI. The Pentagon is already innovating as it becomes an essential responsibility to stay ahead of these threats.

The United States military is already preparing AI to handle State secrets and is even developing AI fighter jets, and the innovation has produced promising results while being in its infancy.

Image: Freepik

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