Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Military
Wayne K Sullivan
Saint Leo University
MGT 327, CA01, Management Information Systems
Professor Lawrence Mister
November 26, 2011
In today's military, leaders are continuously seeking ways to incorporate new technology to take the place of human soldiers. It has long been an important goal to be able to remove the human element from the modern battlefield, thus enabling high risk or sensitive political operations to be conducted without the fear of capture or exploitation of US military personnel. One such incident occurred during the Cold War, on May 1, 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and during the leadership of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, when a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down over the airspace of the Soviet Union. The United States government at first denied the plane's purpose and mission, but then was forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft when the Soviet government produced its intact remains and surviving pilot, Francis Gary Powers, as well as photos of military bases in Russia taken by Gary Powers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been fully integrated within all levels within the Department of Defense (DOD), from software programs designed to efficiently data mine the vast amounts of intelligence collected to complex quantum computing design to monitor and direct operational units in real time on the modern battlefield. This paper will focus only on a few Real world Combat systems currently utilized within the Department of Defense (DOD). Within the Department of Defense (DOD), the word autonomous is equivalent to and often substituted for the term Artificial Intelligence (AI). Autonomous is defined by Webster’s dictionary as; “Having independent existence or laws” (Webster, 2011) , where as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is defined in the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” (Britannica, 2011), both definitions define the overall goal of the DOD, Independent combat systems that increase soldier survivability and become a force multiplier in the combat theater of operations. And is being explored for all branches of the service for uses on land, sea, and air. Background:
In today's modern combat arenas, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the desire for autonomous vehicles and intelligent combat systems is higher than ever. Currently within our armed forces there are numerous combat systems that are experimenting with artificial intelligence, designed to reduce or eliminate the need for combat soldiers on missions or tasks that are considered to dangerous for human operators. These missions or task include Biological or Chemical detection, Explosive Ordinance Detection and Demolition (EOD), High value target identification and covert tracking, and Treat Detection and Neutralization. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is finally reaching the point where it is now feasible, and is starting to demonstrate its capabilities in the combat environment. AI techniques are becoming so ubiquitous that the computers that now bear the label "Intel inside" could well be labeled "AI inside," says Alan Meyrowitz, director of the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington (Rhea, 2000). Now, with a combination of military-funded development programs and the availability of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, the military services are beginning real world implementation. AI methods in such new generations of weapons platforms as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), autonomous submersibles to perform unmanned counter terrorism and surveillance operations in shallow water areas, and Fully Autonomous Land Vehicles designed for soldier support as well as search and destroy (Rhea, 2000).
United States Army, which...
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