Europe, UK and US triple military AI technology

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When the war between Ukraine and Russia began, a Silicon Valley CEO sent an open letter to European leaders offering help in modernizing military strategies by integrating artificial intelligence (AI). So, is this the future of the military?

In his open letter, Alexander Karp, CEO of data analytics firm Palantir, wrote that many global conflicts are born out of contradictions and misinformation.

“A lack of genuine interest in shifts in national ambitions and capabilities can be fatal to those who would rather impose their view of the appropriate story arc on the disjointed path of history than investigate its complexity.

As he said, they rejected the assumption that the state should vilify civilian privacy simply to obtain accurate data and information. Karp said that many “generally believed that the only way to fight terrorism effectively was to create software platforms that would help the state gather even the smallest information and evidence about its citizens without regard to their rights.

Alex Karp, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Palantir Technologies, USA, speaking at the 2017 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, January 19, 2017 (Credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

Karp believes there are new software technologies that would allow states to efficiently and accurately provide informed decisions from ethically sourced data. It also calls for urgent attention to technology, specifically AI.

“A buy-in to the relationship between technology and the state, between disruptive corporations seeking to unseat the grip of entrenched entrepreneurs and federal government departments with funding, will be necessary for Europe and its allies to remain sufficiently strong to overcome the threat of foreigners. Occupation.”

Whether it is Karp’s open letter or other factors, Europe has now embraced the notion of advanced technological development and AI in its military and defense branches.

Last June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders and ministers of the 22 Allied countries signed the NATO Innovation Fund. It is the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund.

“This fund is unique,” said the Secretary General. “With a duration of 15 years, the NATO Innovation Fund will help bring to life these emerging technologies that have the power to transform our security in the decades to come, reinforcing the Alliance’s commitment. innovation ecosystem and strengthen the security of our billion citizens.

The Fund is expected to initially invest €1 billion in early-stage startups and other funds that use emerging technologies in the military. Verticals include biotechnology and human enhancement, energy, propulsion, space, artificial intelligence, big data processing, autonomy, quantum technologies and new materials.

NATO insignia NATO
NATO insignia NATO (Source: Jetijones/Wikimedia)

This will complement NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic or DIANA.

While Europe and the US focus on integrating technology into the military, the UK recently launched a new AI strategy for defense when the Ukraine-Russia war began. . Outside of NATO, Germany has also pushed less than half a billion for AI research and another $100 billion injection into the military.

“War is a catalyst for change,” says Kenneth Payne, who leads defense studies research at King’s College London and is the author of Book I, Warbot: The Dawn of Artificially Intelligent Conflict.

On the other hand, the United States is bringing in big names from Silicon Valley like Amazon, Google and other AI startups during the 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) tour. Defense James Mattis said he wanted to learn more about AI and deep learning. and wants to make sure the military is not left behind.

AI research has been around since the early 1960s. The two main organizations that focus on this work are the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. Some of the uses of AI in today’s military are focused on non-combat roles. For example, DART, a military planning tool, used AI in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. They also use AI as training simulators. The US Air Force is also working privately with AI developers to gather information faster. But the ultimate goal of AIs is to prepare them for decision making.

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Other uses of AI include:

  • Autonomous Weapons and Weapon Targeting
  • Surveillance
  • cyber security
  • homeland security
  • Logistics
  • Autonomous vehicles

While AI integration capabilities are promising, their implementation in military branches is a whole different story. According to the French CEO of the AI ​​surveillance start-up, Arnaud Guérin, the military is still dominated by large contractors focused on military hardware and not AI software.

Another hurdle is the verification process. With AI ethics and coverage, a contract approval can span decades, and that pace is the opposite of the rapid start-up cycles that can take companies from zero to $100 million in a year.

Andreessen Horowitz’s general partner, Katherine Boyle, said that’s also why she isn’t optimistic about the integration of military AI anytime soon. AI startups typically go bankrupt while waiting for defense contracts to be approved.

“Some of these hoops are totally critical, especially in this industry where security issues are very real,” says Mark Warner, who founded FacultyAI, a data analytics company that works with the British military. “But others are not…and in some ways have enshrined the incumbents’ position.”

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