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U.S. Army pushes for militarized use of AI technology

Recently, the Department of Defense and the U.S. military have announced one after another the progress of their projects in the field of artificial intelligence technology applications.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense is collaborating with civilian artificial intelligence companies to accelerate the promotion of the militarized application of this technology.

The U.S. Army demonstrates the Vision 60 quadrupedal bionic robot dog.

Series of research and development projects announced

Recently, the U.S. Department of Defense released part of the "Mervin" project, a key project in the application of artificial intelligence technology.

It is said that the U.S. military with the help of this project can automatically identify the location of rocket launchers and surface ships, and block the target of attack.

U.S. Central Command Chief Technology Officer Skyler Moore said this is only part of the function of "Mervin," while the program's goal is to build a system to identify personnel and equipment on the battlefield through algorithms.

The system was introduced in the U.S. Army's 18th Airborne Corps and will be improved based on training data and user feedback.

The U.S. Department of Defense has also made public a draft command and control system codenamed "Palantir."

The system is an artificial intelligence platform led by the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Command and Control Studies, which integrates information gathering, operational decision making, command and control, and communication functions.

The system is capable of battlefield reconnaissance, satellite surveillance and open-source channels to obtain intelligence information for big data processing, detect potential threats and provide decision-making programs, thus helping the U.S. military rapidly deploy combat operations.

It has been reported that the U.S. Department of Defense will be selected from the military branches of the pilot force and will gradually promote the practical application of the platform.

Following the initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. military services have recently launched a series of artificial intelligence technology application projects.

The U.S. Air Force launched the "Smart UAV Universal Integration" framework, which realizes technological advances such as "autonomous path selection" and "threat source screening," and plans to produce 1,000 UAVs with human-aircraft cooperation capabilities under the framework.

The Army plans to produce 1,000 unmanned aircraft with human-machine cooperation capabilities under the framework and deploy the first squadron of "intelligent unmanned wingmen" in 2024.

The U.S. Army has launched the Infantry Squad Support System (ISSS) and the Advanced Armed Robotics System (AARS). "The Infantry Squad Support System (ISSS) platform can carry 180 kg of equipment and choose the optimal route to a deployment site 30 km away.

The Advanced Armed Robotic System (AARS) has a modular design and is capable of performing bomb disposal, patrol and reconnaissance missions."

The U.S. Department of the Army has also released "exoskeleton armor," "digital triage assistants," and other artificial intelligence systems for use in combat.

It is said that exoskeleton armor can be installed on soldiers' knees and ankles, doubling the strength and endurance of their legs and increasing their weight-bearing capacity.

The U.S. Navy has launched the DDG(X) project. In this project, the U.S. Navy can use artificial intelligence systems to communicate with nearby combat platforms, obtain the position of adversary weapon platforms in real time and carry out attack guidance.

In addition, the U.S. Navy has also tested the "Autonomous Core Control System," the "Joint Optimal Conflict Avoidance Algorithm" and other artificial intelligence technology modules, which can realize the small size of the unmanned craft for autonomous navigation, navigation and communication.

The U.S. Marine Corps has launched the "Power" project. The project is able to acquire the data needed for combat through big data, obtain data management authorization and automated processing, and promote the closure of the kill chain with the intelligence and decision chain.

Cooperation with private commercial resources

The military branches of the United States have announced progress in the application of artificial intelligence technology, and at the same time, cooperation between U.S. military and civilian enterprises has been initiated.

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Open AI company on the joint development of intelligent software for cybersecurity protection have reached cooperation intentions.

The Open AI company changed its ban on the use of its artificial intelligence technology for the military.

Open AI's Sora model has reportedly been chosen by the U.S. military for battlefield simulation training. The model can quickly build virtual environments for exercises and replicas of combat.

The U.S. Department of Defense has also signed a contract with Scale AI to develop a "Big Language model evaluation test methodology" to evaluate the performance of specific models and address issues arising from the application of AI technology in the context of as-yet unformulated AI security standards and policies.

The U.S. Space Development Agency of the Pacific Air Forces (USPAF) has signed a two-year contract with EpiSci Software for a project that aims to use artificial intelligence software to identify and track hypersonic missiles.

In addition to collaborating on specific projects, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is leading the process of integrating military and commercial AI technologies. The "Lima" working group of the U.S. Department of Defense, which is specifically in charge of artificial intelligence technology, convened some heads of artificial intelligence companies to hold a special meeting to discuss the military application of artificial intelligence technology.

The risks

The acceleration toward the militarization of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has raised concerns in the U.S. media and among insiders.

Experts from the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives have said that, at this stage, the reliability and comprehensiveness of AI technology are still in doubt and that vigilance is needed for possible threats posed by this technology.

For their part, technology officials such as Skyler Moore said that as the United States and allies begin to rely on AI technology systems, potential adversaries could launch attacks by contaminating training data or sabotaging the systems, which are low-cost and difficult to detect.

Meanwhile, the ethical aspects of AI technology, particularly the consequences of machines deciding to kill, are the focus of concern.

Officials from the U.S. Army's 18th Airborne Corps, which is engaged in the testing and operation of AI technology, have stated that the risk of weapons mistakenly attacking operators has increased as the autonomous capabilities of AI technology have grown.

Currently, the U.S. Army does not have a policy and regulatory basis for controlling weapons with AI technology, and how to control risks when collaborating with commercial companies is also an issue that needs to be addressed.

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