How AI Will be Used to Revolutionize Defense
Mon, April 19, 2021

How AI Will be Used to Revolutionize Defense

Militaries and governments are exploring AI / Photo Credit: Peter Cripps (via Shutterstock)


Simon Chandler of business news platform Forbes wrote that governments and militaries are showing interest in AI’s speed and scale. States are already utilizing AI to monitor their own citizens, with the UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) saying last week that they will also be using the technology to make decisions with regard to national security and warfare. The MoD’s Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) has received a £4 million in funding for new projects and startups exploring the usage of AI in the British Navy. The DASA is also looking to support AI and machine learning-based technology that will transform how warships decide and process numerous intelligence and data.

The MoD will allocate £1 million between nine projects as part of DASA’s Intelligent Ship-The Next Generation competition. However, the British government wants any breakthrough to form the basis of technology that will be used across the country’s defensive and offensive capabilities. U.K. Defence Minister James Heappey stated, "The astonishing pace at which global threats are evolving requires new approaches and fresh-thinking to the way we develop our ideas and technology." He added that the funding will look into projects on how AI and automation can optimize the UK’s armed forces in their day-to-day work. The project will be looking at how automation, autonomy, machine learning, and AI can be employed into UK military systems and how they can be leveraged to improve the UK’s responsiveness to potential and actual threats.

Julia Tagg, the technical lead at the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), explained that the DASA has the potential to revolutionize defense platforms, resulting in a change in the relationships between AI and humans. For Tagg, the DASA will ensure that the UK’s defense “remains an effective, capable force for good in a rapidly changing technological landscape.” Such technological innovation is essential to the ever-evolving nature of inter-state conflict.

Tagg noted that crews are experiencing information overload due to the thousands of data, intelligence, and information they have to analyze. By utilizing automation, machine learning, autonomy, and AI with the real-life skills of crews, the UK government can help revolutionize the way future fleets are assembled and operate to protect the UK from outside threats.