Tomorrow's wars will be fought using a deadly mix of soldiers, drones, along with AI-powered systems. The Internet of Fight Matters, as it's being called, is a huge battlefield system of machines and humans -- along with the US Army is currently working to ensure it is a reality.
In what sounds like a list of kill-streak perks in a Call of Duty game, the Army clarified the "entities" in its "Internet of Fight Matters" would be within a just-released white newspaper:
"Most of these clever things won't be too dissimilar from the systems we see on today's battle, including unattended ground sensors, directed missiles (especially the fire-and-forget number) and needless to say the unmanned aerial systems (UAVs). They will probably consist of physical robots which range from very compact size (like an insect-scale cellular sensors) to big vehicle that could carry supplies and troops. Some will fly, others will crawl or walk or ride."
The paper was written by the Army's leader of the Network Science Division of the Army Research Laboratory, Dr. Alexander Kottsaid It summarizes the requirement to develop approaches to augment both machines and people at the real world with artificially intelligent agents to shield the community:
"Along with bodily intelligent items, the battlefield -- or the cyber domain of the battle -- will be populated using disembodied, cyber robots. These will live in various computers and networks and will move and act from the cyberspace."
Today's best AI, the likes of Google's DeepMind and IBM's Watson, is just barely capable of performing high-function image processing. The Army is looking for advances in technology which, currently speaking, seem pretty far away.
Kott takes pains to underscore the fact that the AI powering US war efforts need to be resilient in ways that the AI simply isn't. He says:
"The smart things will have to always consider a smart adversary that strategizes to fool and defeat them. With this adversarial intellect, the struggle things will not endure long enough to be helpful."
Regrettably, robots have a tendency to be pretty awkward, though developers are quickly overcoming that particular problem.
Ultimately, aside from outlining what the future battle will look like, the paper's conclusion is either disappointing or even a giant relief, Depending upon Your schedule:
"Certainly, it's far past the current state of AI to function in this kind of environment and together with such requirements. Specifically, Machine Learning -- an area that has seen a dramatic progress in the last decade -- must undergo key advances so as to become relevant to the true battlefield."
Armies of killer robots could one day descend upon entire cities such as human-seeking locusts made from metal and silicon, but we are not really there yet based on the US Army.