Future warfare: Is Indian Army ready for the use of Artificial Intelligence and Smart Technologies?

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Updated: Dec 08, 2020 3:28 PM

It is for the first time that the machine gun was controlled remotely using advanced cameras and artificial intelligence and targeted only one individual without causing any collateral damage.

Artificial intelligence-based platforms are the future of any battlefield. (Photo source: IE)

Recent use of a satellite controlled weapons platform used in the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has invited international attention probably for the fact that a remotely controlled machine gun mounted on a pickup was used to pointedly kill him. It is for the first time that the machine gun was controlled remotely using advanced cameras and artificial intelligence and targeted only one individual without causing any collateral damage.

Artificial intelligence-based platforms are the future of any battlefield. They can be easily deployed without being detected easily and cause havoc through enemy fire. They are stealthy and very effective.

“The development of remote-controlled devices has seen phenomenal development since US forces started targeting terrorist networks with precise accuracy using the drones. Scores of Taliban, ISIS and other terrorist leaders were targeted making use of satellite controlled weapon platform. However the nature of such weapons led to the elimination of targets in close vicinity of the targeted individual as well,” Brig NK Bhatia tells Financial Express Online.

The Indian Army veteran says, “In the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia extensive reports of the use of the artificial intelligence-based weapon platforms, more particularly swarm drones, came to light caused huge casualties amongst not only to soldiers but also to armoured vehicles.”

“Artificial intelligence ‘smart bombs’ has been in use for quite a while. But their use in land warfare is now gaining prominence. It is only a matter of time before we may see their deployment to counter large armour and mechanised columns,” according to Brig Bhatia.

Iran: Tense days ahead post-assassination of nuclear scientist

More about Artificial Intelligence

To put it simply AI refers to the Information Systems which are capable of using computer algorithms or rule-sets to do things which would require human intelligence.

It is a tool which is used to carry out functionalities which are coded in them. And these are usually based on the intelligence of the human programmers. Working with a huge database moving at a high data rate, these AL tools can be trained to learn to identify the pattern and information which may not be humanly possible.

Face Recognition

Facial Recognition (FR), Artificial Neural Networks and Social Network Analysis are some of the popular tools used in AI. And FR is used for automatic identification and recognition of a person.

So how does FR work?

The facial data which is gathered from specific demographics are for training FR algorithms of Artificial Neural Network — for ethnicity-based FR accuracy.

Also, social networks are used to gather huge amounts of personal information.

According to experts with AI, the ethics of the use of ‘people targeting’ has become more covert. And with technology moving fast and intelligently, the Human-Technology (HUMTEC) process is now at a crucial juncture. Governments globally are unable to take the top-down view.

Is the Indian Army ready?

Not yet. As has been reported earlier in Financial Express Online, to become a fully network-centric force, use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military is expected to begin in the near future. It will take around 3-4 years before the AI tool is used in the Indian Military. The process of this has already started, and the plan is that every army personnel will be having the tools in which Artificial Intelligence will be integrated.

A Defence Artificial Intelligence Council is already set up in the Ministry of Defence and the defence minister is the chairman, and the three service chiefs, the defence secretary and secretary defence production are members.

What does it mean?

The times and methodology of fighting wars are undergoing a quantum jump. It is a matter of time that artificial intelligence gains currency in land warfare by exploiting the space and cyber domain.

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