The internet giant Google is one of those companies that leaves no opportunity untouched and now it is veering into defense matters, through its artificial intelligence technology. That is, the ‘big G’ has signed a contract with the Department of Defense to bring in its AI solutions in relation to drone targeting.
Google’s Approach to AI Technology
All along, Google has always been so serious with its AI technology, spending billions in research, hoping this would open great doors for the company. Evident on its search engines, Google has greatly advanced in visual recognition and language translation, facilitated by the advancement of its deep learning tools, the aspect that made it a candidate in this military AI drone project.
However, the military deal with Google comes as a secrete channeled through ECS Federal a Northern Virginia tech staffing company. But again, the whole thing is part of Pentagon’s push to set up a super-AI system technology that will take combat performance to an unmatched level.
Solving the Issue at Hand
As it is, the military has over 1100 drones that it uses to launch attacks against the Islamic State. Now, the experts think machine learning is highly needed to fine-tune ventures, as well as help drone specialists, interpret the immense image data collected by these military drones.
The interest to set up a cutting-edge AI system technology for the defense was first announced mid last year by Robert Work, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense. This subsequently birthed an Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team, christened Project Maven. “Basically, the whole idea was after seeing how it would be possible to integrate big data and machine learning from the huge dataset owned by the DoD, into valuable intelligence and insights at speed,” Robert stated.
AI Powered Drone Strikes
Project Maven is made of multiple groups from the DoD, their work would be to help in the early stages of automation, to identify and classify images vacuumed by drones –people, autos, and buildings –which would empower specialists to make smarter and informed decisions on the battlefield.
Ideally, it means, before dropping let’s say a bomb on a specific target area, there will be fast moving drones, which feed an AI system with images from different angles of view. The system will have its own ability to tag or flag the images which may require closer examination by the human eye.
In the real world, this would increase accuracy in targets, as the forces will not have to estimate anymore when launching bomb attacks. Besides saving on military resources this will also save innocent lives because attacks will be fine-tuned to the precise location.
Concerns About the Military Use of Machine Learning
AI-powered drones for military use have since sparked concerns. This may, in the long run, translate to developing drones with purely independent brains which can at some point make wrong decisions. The fact that drones are the new bomb launchers in battlefields when they can think; it is both good and extremely dangerous -when they decide to betray humanity.
However, according to sources, a Google spokesperson was quick to highlight that “Combining drone technology and AI raises valid concerns.” And that the topic is actively being discussed. There would not be a better way of settling these concerns other than setting up serious policies and laws around building and use of machine learning tech in military-related aspects.
Since the announcement of this AI initiative, sources say that the authorities have already used the technology, through intelligence exploration to gear up successful drone strikes on ISIS in the Middle East.
The Future of Drone with AI in Picture
For quite sometimes, experts have tried to incorporate artificial intelligence technology into drones but this has always come with different views. As of now, AI is seen as a tool that would in future define economies. Subsequently, the country that leads in AI might become the superpower.
Now, with the current scramble for superiority in technology, China, the US and Russia spending huge amounts of money to promote AI discoveries within their borders, it is possible that these governments will want to focus on AI-powered drones, to develop their weaponry muscle, like it was the case in the 1940s, when missile superiority defined a country.
Now, if Google becomes the only “go-to guy” in providing AI-based military solutions in terms of software, then it would mean that the United States would retain its position as Superpower. Or, what do you think?