A topic that is brought up frequently from clients, investors, and curious minds is how can TechSprout maintain a focus on sustainability while conducting simultaneous operations in defense projects. In order to understand the symbiotic relationship it is important to outline the parallel paths that the two controversial topics adhere with.
If there is any scary or negative perceptions painted about AI it is Hollywood filmmakers that we owe it to. For decades the United States Department of Defense (DoD) has pioneered positive and innovative uses for AI in defense and security, from assessing the readiness of military vehicles to identifying insurgent targets. Protecting our great nation and saving soldiers lives on the battlefield are performed today by significant advancements in artificial intelligence. Today, these efforts have shifted into high gear under a U.S. strategic initiative focused on harnessing AI to advance the security and prosperity of the nation.
The use cases for AI in defense and national security are virtually unlimited. AI can be embedded into weapons and surveillance systems to enhance performance. It can be used to improve target recognition, combat simulation and training, and threat monitoring. It can be used in logistics and transportation systems, to help the military get the right equipment and people to the right places at the right time.
Military systems equipped with AI are capable of handling larger volumes of data and to do so more efficiently than conventional systems. AI also enables advanced computing and decision‑making capabilities that help military commanders improve the control, regulation and actuation of combat systems.
In an example of the importance of AI on the battlefield, the research firm KPMG notes that a defense agency could have just 8–10 minutes to decide whether a missile launch represents a threat, share the findings with allies, and decide what to do in response. It takes AI to rapidly integrate real-time data from satellites and sensors and to present findings immediately to help commanders decide what actions to take.
Video surveillance and image analysis
“AI can generate and help commanders explore new options so that they can select courses of action that best achieve mission outcomes, minimizing risks to both deployed forces and civilians”
When it comes to analyzing video and images captured by surveillance systems and aerial vehicles, AI is a huge advantage. For example, algorithms can be trained to recognize terrorist activity evident in streams of video, just as they can be trained to recognize cats in datasets filled with all kinds of images.
Cyber-warfare will clearly be one of the battlefields of the future. AI can help military organizations combat the threat of cyber-attacks, which can now be launched from virtually anywhere in the world.
A few examples of the way AI is being deployed in this new digital battlefield:
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has piloted AI tools for detecting cyber-network intrusions and malicious activities.
- The DoD has a project under way that will develop an algorithm to detect and deter cyber-attackers whose skills are aimed at DoD information systems
Keeping equipment battlefield-ready is a huge challenge for national defense agencies. AI can help with this labor-intensive work.
A case in point: The DoD plans to use AI to predict the failure of critical parts, automate diagnostics, and plan maintenance based on data and equipment condition. Similar technology will be used to guide the provisioning of spare parts and optimize inventory levels. The department says these advances will ensure appropriate inventory levels, assist in troubleshooting, and enable more rapidly deployable and adaptable forces at reduced costs. AI has assisted in optimizing budget expenses for thousands of annual defense projects. These cost savings are not simply recycled back to defense projects, but are contributed to environmental rehabilitation in war zones and other positive social and environmental endeavors.
Defense and security agencies increasingly rely on AI-driven applications to automate services, streamline business processes, cut the time spent on repetitive tasks, and reduce the chances for human errors.
As AI makes ever-deeper inroads in defense and security applications, machine learning algorithms and technologies continue to develop and increase in scope. All of this puts new demands on the computing infrastructure that powers the AI-driven solutions. At the same time, it creates the need for infrastructure that can be adapted to the unique and changing requirements of defense and security use cases.
In this rapidly growing field, reprogrammable FPGAs give defense and security agencies a new class of IT armaments. With their flexible programming model, FPGAs allow for the continual implementation of the newest algorithms and neural network topologies. As AI becomes more integral to the decision making process for military operations, we deploy and construct much more intelligently optimized infrastructures, lessening our physical impact on the environment and decreasing the long term necessity for on-going deployments and foreign securities.
AI is now an essential technology for military and defense agencies across the wide range of their operations. It’s one of the keys to protecting the safety and security of our Armed Forces, our citizens and our allies. It’s also one of the keys to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations, at both home and abroad.
Ultimately, to be the best at what they do, our defense and security agencies need the real-time insights and intelligent automation that is possible only with AI-driven systems.