The US military has revealed its plans for artificial intelligence on the battlefield – but admits enemies are already ahead of it.
It hopes AI will power everything from cybersoldiers to the targetting systems of the F-35 – but admits it has to catch up to commercial AI firms.
Deputy Defense secretary Robert Work said ‘The commercial world has already made this leap.’
Speaking at a national security forum co-hosted by the Center for a New American Security and Defense One, he admitted ‘The Department of Defense is a follower.’
He also said cyber battles would rely on AI.
‘You cannot have a human operator operating at human speed fighting back at determined cyber tech,’ Work said.
‘You are going to need have a learning machine that does that.’
He also admitting automating weapons could happen.
‘We believe strongly that humans should be the only ones to decide to when use lethal force.
‘But when you’re under attack, especially at machine speeds, we want to have a machine that can protect us.’
Work also said the much maligned F-35’s smart helmet, which can help pilot’s track targets, was a key project.
AI was also set to control military vehicles.
We are looking at a large number of very, very advanced things,’ citing recent programs that would deploy cascades of small drones from larger drone ‘motherships,’
The AI’s would also work together as a ‘superbrain’.
‘If we launch seven missiles at a surface action group and one missile goes high, and is looking at all the different things that the battle group is doing to defend itself and it sees something new that’s not in its library, it will immediately report back on the learning network, which will go back to a learning machine, which will create ‘here’s something you should do’ which will pass it over to human machine collaboration— so the mission commander can make an adjustment on the next salvo and then make a command change inside the software of the missile so that the next seven missiles launch will be that much more effective,’ he said.
The Pentagon’s skunk works is already using AI to create technology to build the ‘super soldier’ of the future.