skip to main content

Logistics and data crunching should lead AI's first applications for allies, say officials

Artificial intelligence (AI) will impact “everything” in the defence domain, but its application to logistics, object-motion recognition, and rapid data-crunching should be among its first goals, officials and policy analysts said at a virtual conference on the topic hosted by the Center for European Policy Analysis on 4 May.

“AI is such a foundational technology that it will affect all it touches, not just a weapons system or sensor, but especially how data is collected and digested,” said Gilman Louie, head of the US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. “When you are at the algorithm-vs-algorithm level, it is all or nothing. Only if your AI has a higher ‘IQ’, processing faster and better than your adversary, will victory be yours,” he said.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, commander, UK Strategic Command, said, “I will not be able to exploit data and intelligence without AI,” adding that a first priority for his command is a robust digital infrastructure. “My organisation has to build a secure and modern digital backbone that includes a [dedicated] AI centre.”

Gen Sanders noted three other priorities for AI’s use: supporting decision-making during multiple threats, basic autonomy for last-mile delivery in areas such as logistics or IED road-clearance, and object recognition. “We have decades of full-motion video. Intelligence is an obvious place to start by applying AI to all this where you can make rapid progress,” he said.

Anne Bouverot, board chair of French company Technicolor SA and former CEO of Morpho Systèmes, backed the idea. “There is a lot the military can do with AI to recognise shapes, patterns, and movements, particularly if you do the computing close to the camera,” said Bouverot. “But that also assumes you have enough computing power locally to do it.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...