How the Army is Using Artificial Intelligence

  • On : September 17, 2018
Zac O’Hehir

The future of militaries across the globe will have a heavy focus on artificial intelligence (AI). Militaries are heavily investing in robots because they believe they will play a key role in future defence force endeavours. Both the US and UK military are now utilising battlefield robots in combat exercises. These robots are working with soldiers to perform dangerous tasks such as clearing minefields and bridging tank trenches.

This cutting-edge technology has enabled militaries to take their soldiers out of harm’s way,  improving safety and the return rate of many countries heroes. These benefits highlight why AI is becoming more commonplace within the defence industry worldwide and there are many examples of innovative AI implementation in the military.

Countering electronic attacks

The U.S. Army is currently deploying electronic warfare tactical vehicles to monitor the battlefield. They have been testing these vehicles and are hoping the application of AI in electronic warfare will be able to help the Military defeat enemy attempts to interfere with GPS and communication satellite signals. In the past US forces have had to repeatedly block countries such as Russia from disrupting communication satellites in war zones such as Syria and Ukraine, but now with the use of artificial intelligence in the form of these tactical vehicles hopefully there will be an end to the disruption. The Pentagon has also expressed its worries about similar attacks against satellite-based communications systems.

The Pentagon

With the Pentagon expressing similar worries, they have reached out to companies such as Google for help connecting the military to the AI world. This year the Pentagon has started an initiative called Project Maven, which involves the development of AI algorithms to analyse all aspects of the military. Recently the Pentagon has raised huge awareness amongst themselves of the capabilities of AI and how it will be able to help them move into the future. The Pentagon currently has a number of AI efforts underway and are pursuing production and prototyping but have been met with backlash from Google employees. Many Google employees do not approve of the partnership, as they believe that Google should not be involved in the business of war. Employees started a petition urging CEO Sundar Pichai to end the relationship with the Pentagon, this petition has received more than 3,100 employees signatures.

Helping with Disaster Relief

Many American’s have heard about Hurricane Lane hitting the Hawaiian island of Kauai recently. Hawaii was lucky and dodged a direct hit but unfortunately, a tropical storm was created which resulted in flash flooding with some people having to evacuate their home due to the rising water levels. The U.S Military is regularly involved in disaster relief and supports communities with the recovery process and are always looking for more efficient ways to perform relief operations. Military leaders are now turning to artificial intelligence for help with this and they have found many uses for AI. AI is now being used to support drones searching for survivors that may be trapped and delivering supplies particularly when conditions are unsafe. AI also can accurately map disaster areas with real-time adjustments which are vital to all people affected by the disaster.