According to the famous Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change” – and that is accurate for military special operations. The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), based in Tampa, FL is embracing a possible change in their system as they plan to use artificial intelligence to help bolster their war fighting capabilities and the fight against weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
In an event called the 2018 GEOINT Symposium, General Raymond ‘Tony’ Thomas, the Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command expressed his desire to use AI-based systems or machines in order to track WMDs.
He said that even though their unit has always been on the cutting edge of utilizing commercial services and products, they are still a little hesitant to entertain the technological prowess of artificial intelligence.
However, with the growing risk and danger showed by potential adversaries and terrorists who want to use WMDs, it would be safe to say that machine learnings could provide intelligence to SOCOM that counters weapons of mass destructions, which experts say are a frightening global problem.
Speaking to a huge crowd of geospatial intelligence professionals, General Raymond ‘Tony’ Thomas stated, “It did not take us long to realize how massive this problem is. We have a hard time even describing what countering WMDs is. It ranges from dirty little bombs on a street corner to nuclear weapons, missiles, chemical, and biological agents. It deals with state actors and non-state actors.”
Defying Weapons of Mass Destruction
Imagine going to a war armed with not just extreme firepower, but also with AI-based devices that are ready to go full throttle. That is what will happen if SOCOM’s plan to use machine learning becomes successful.
Thomas believes that artificial intelligence is going to be one of the solutions to defying the weapons of mass destruction. AI could even classify the different sources of production and transportation of WMDs before they could be used on illegal missions.
He added, “It’s seeing what you cannot see. Understanding what is out there. The connection between nefarious actors. How can we use machine learning more effectively to see the problem and enable action that might be required?”
The bold idea to incorporate the technology of AI into military activities is no doubt effective, but giving it a proper approach should still be a priority.
Yael Eisenstat is trying to raise awareness regarding the proper use of artificial intelligence and all things technology. She and her company, Kilele Global aim to stop bad actors from using technology like AI to hack, terrorize, and steal.
According to her, “We are all recognizing right now that we are going to have to stand up and start thinking more seriously about what are the ethics of how we use the online world.”
Additional Funding to Boost Artificial Intelligence Ventures
The good thing is that the government has recently vouched to inject billions of dollars into the funds of the military and defense sector. The U.S. Special Operations Command is also expected to employ more personnel to its increasing force size.
A whopping $13.6 billion of funding is projected to be added to the unit’s budget this year. The boost is made up of $9.1 billion in base funding and another $4.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations.
Thomas mentioned that they will use the funding to change old equipment and devices. More importantly, to better finance their venture of having AI systems and software developments.
Companies to Help the Military Industry in Other Areas
Aside from stopping the usage of WMDs, SOCOM still has other things to worry about. The following companies are creating AI-based machines and systems for military purposes:
ShieldAI – ShieldAI is a startup company in San Diego, California and is known for developing intelligent robots. These are capable of understanding the world and perceiving events. Ryan Tseng is the CEO of the company. ShieldAI has an estimated total round funding of $13.1 million.
The startup is working with active duty warfighters to deliver real-time, actionable intelligence, and lessen casualties simultaneously.
DARPA – The Virginia-based company became a household name for many people because of its works. It is a research branch of the United States Department of Defense and they are responsible for creating new technologies used by the military industry. Arati Prabhakar is the Managing Director of DARPA and the company has a projected revenue of $2.8 billion.
Reports suggest that DARPA plans to bring the military industry into the future using AI projects like its Big Mechanism system.
MRX Technologies – MRX Technologies offers an exclusive innovation of different sophisticated technologies catering to Defense, Medical, Artificial Intelligence and many more. Neil Gerardo is the founder of the company. It has an estimated annual revenue of $17.3 billion.
The multinational company has already integrated AI systems into their very own defense sector offerings.
These are just some of the companies that are developing artificial intelligence for the military sector. Many people are now seeing the positive side of adapting artificial intelligence. AI-based detecting machines or systems is just the beginning for the defense industry. Soon, more technological advancements will be made because of the continuous efforts from innovators and even the government.