The warfare techniques have undergone a complete makeover ever since the entry of Big Data and IoT (Internet Of Things) in this industry. It has enhanced not in just the way opponents engage in a war but also the fronts on which they get engaged, though the dilemma of its usage is still debatable.
Taranis is an autonomous stealth drones by BAE Systems. It is named after the Celtic God of Thunder. This drone when programmed with a flight path in a pre-selected area can fly, identify threat, target it and send an alert to the human operator. The human operator reviews and then approves if required for the attack. Taranis then fires and destroy the target threat with a missile and flies back home.
As of today military widely uses drones for conducting surveillance, attack hostile target, spot submarines and mines. With advantages like being smaller and stealthier these drones have been also found successful in delivering humanitarian aid to distant places. As it is distantly controlled the safety of the pilot is also enhanced.
Though this fact doesn’t thrill many people, owing to the possibility of killing, damaging or destroying autonomously. A huge list of people have written an open letter to UN (United Nations) to crease the use of these weapons as it’s not clear how and where human intervention or approval is sought by the machine. The human intellect can’t be fully replaced by these machines.
Another factor that challenges the weapon equipped with AI, Big Data, IoT is that battle fields and line of controls can be replaced by digital networks replacing soldiers with hackers. If the attack is done on the network itself these weapons can turn highly suicidal. Making things smart are making them venerable too.
These facts can be over- sided by organizations like the Defence Department of United States, the UN, and the CIA. These organisations in last few years have launched many initiatives using these weapons to anticipate outbreaks of diseases, crisis (political, economic & natural) and shortage of resources.
The organisations like these and many more are able to gather huge unstructured data from various sources like reports from media, blog and social media posts using these technology. This data was then used to anticipate and plan events/intervention as well assesses which actions were successful, though it will take time to enhance the scale of impact of these technologies.
Using this data to prevent problems and promote peace may still be a long way off, but because these are learning algorithms, every bit of data they receive and every prediction they make brings them closer to their goals.