At the CRO Summit before RoboBusiness 2017 last week, attendees discussed topics such as whether the threat of automation is real. A question that arose during the session on “Separating Hype From Reality — Selling Upward and Setting Expectations” was whether artificial intelligence is in its infancy or truly ready for the world stage, and it inspired me to consider military AI.
While the Chief Robotics Officer speakers focused on AI’s business potential, perhaps the best way to determine whether AI is ready for the real world is to look at it through the defense lens. Military AI isn’t in its infancy; it is a teenager on the verge of becoming an adult. Governments around the world are deploying AI in a variety of ways, tilting the balance of geopolitical power.
In the U.S., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on a project called CODE (Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment). It seeks to reduce the complexity for a human operator controlling dozens of drones by allowing the drones to make some decisions on their own. The military AI would allow drones to not only identify targets on their own, but also to “engage” them.
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