Military


X-ray vision will soon give soldiers the ability to see through walls

FOX News

File photo: South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea, December 19, 2017. Bionic soldiers with X-ray vision could soon be a reality thanks to a new wireless system that uses radio-waves to map people's movements behind walls. Researchers at MIT trained artificial intelligence to analyze radio signals that bounce off human bodies to create a dynamic stick figure that mimics a person's actions. The so-called neural network can sense people's postures and movement even from the outside of a building or room. MIT says the tech can be embedded into a wireless device, which would theoretically allow soldiers to hook it up to their combat gear – like helmets and night-vision goggles.


Army researchers develop A.I. tech that helps U.S. soldiers learn 13x faster than conventional methods

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A Phys.org article states that Army researchers are making huge strides in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) that can support U.S. soldiers on the battlefield. Their latest development is an affordable yet capable AI assistant that can reportedly help human troops learn more than 13 times faster than normal training methods. Featuring vastly improved machine learning capabilities, the AI will be installed upon the Army's future ground combat vehicles. It is intended to help a human soldier spot important clues, recognize the developing situation, and come up with a solution to the problem on the fly. The AI would reportedly help preserve American lives during the chaos of combat.


U.S. soldier killed, four wounded during operation against al-Shabab Islamists in Somalia

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded in an "enemy attack" Friday in Somalia, the U.S. military said -- casualties that are likely to put renewed scrutiny on America's counterterrorism operations in Africa. It was the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death on the continent since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October. President Donald Trump paid tribute on Twitter on Friday night, offering "thoughts and prayers" to the families of the soldier who was killed and those who were wounded. "They are truly all HEROES," he tweeted. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2:45 p.m.


US soldiers to get mini surveillance drone in new $2.6m deal

Daily Mail

The U.S. military has been looking to incorporate elements of artificial intelligence and machine learning into its drone program. Project Maven, as the effort is known, aims to provide some relief to military analysts who are part of the war against Islamic State. These analysts currently spend long hours staring at big screens reviewing video feeds from drones as part of the hunt for insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon is trying to develop algorithms that would sort through the material and alert analysts to important finds, according to Air Force Lieutenant General John N.T. 'Jack' Shanahan, director for defense intelligence for warfighting support. Military bosses say intelligence analysts are'overwhelmed' by the amount of video being recorded over the battlefield by drones with high resolution cameras'A lot of times these things are flying around(and)... there's nothing in the scene that's of interest,' he told Reuters.


Israel's Self-Flying 'Cormorant' Whisks Soldiers to Safety

WIRED

Five men in white overalls lifted the stretcher off the ground, one of them taking care to lay a clear plastic IV bag that's connected to the patient onto his stomach. They marched him toward what looks like a black inflatable dinghy on small wheels, crossed with a fly. The stretcher was loaded in through a hatch on the side, and then the men stood back. The patient was actually a medical training mannequin, but that didn't stop him (it, rather) from taking part in the first "mission representative" demonstration of a new aircraft. That bean-shaped thing is called the Cormorant, and it was built by Israel-based Tactical Robotics to make battlefield evacuations--which today rely on helicopters--quicker and safer, thanks to a new design and the fact that there's no human pilot involved.


War Machines: Artificial Intelligence in Conflict

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Having invented the first machine gun, Richard John Gatling explained (or at least justified) his invention in a letter to a friend in 1877: With such a machine, it would be possible to replace 100 men with rifles on the battlefield, greatly reducing the number of men injured or killed. This sentiment, replacing soldiers--or at least protecting them from harm to the greatest extent possible through the inventions of science and technology--has been a thoroughly American ambition since the Civil War. And now, with developments in computing, artificial intelligence and robotics, it may soon be possible to replace soldiers entirely. Only this time America is not alone and may not even be in the lead. Many countries in the world today, including Russia and China, are believed to be developing weapons that will have the ability to operate autonomously--discover a target, make the decision to engage and then attack, without human intervention.


The Hunt for Explainable AI

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The notion that we should understand how artificial intelligences make decisions is gaining increasing currency. As we face a future in which important decisions affecting the course of our lives may be made by artificial intelligence (AI), the idea that we should understand how AIs make decisions is gaining increasing currency. Which hill to position a 20-year-old soldier on, who gets (or does not get) a home mortgage, which treatment a cancer patient receives … such decisions, and many more, already are being made based on an often unverifiable technology. "The problem is that not all AI approaches are created equal," says Jeff Nicholson, a vice president at Pega Systems Inc., makers of AI-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. "Certain'black box' approaches to AI are opaque and simply cannot be explained."


Army Building "Self-Aware" Squid-Like Robot That Can Be "3-D Printed" During Combat

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The Army Research Laboratory's next robot weapon isn't a new predator drone or even a robot dog like the infamous prototype developed by Boston Labs. Instead, it's a "self-aware" robot built from flexible materials inspired by invertebrates like squid, the Army Times reports. But in addition to its advance machine-learning capabilities, the material used to build the robots is so lightweight and malleable that soldiers will be able to "print" the robots on the battlefield, the control them with controllers that send electric currents through the materials. In case you weren't already terrified of robots that can jump over walls, fly or crawl, Army researchers are developing your next nightmare – a flexible, soft robot inspired by squid and other invertebrates. And they want soldiers to be able to use 3D printers to make them on the battlefield.


The Case Against an Autonomous Military - Facts So Romantic

Nautilus

In 2016, a Mercedes-Benz executive was quoted as saying that the company's self-driving autos would put the safety of its own occupants first. This comment brought harsh reactions about luxury cars mowing down innocent bystanders until the company walked back the original statement. Yet protecting the driver at any cost is what drivers want: A recently published study in Science (available to read on arXiv) shows that, though in principle people want intelligent cars to save as many lives as possible (like avoiding hitting a crowd of children, for example), they also want a car that will protect its occupants first. It would be hard to trust this algorithm because we--the humans nominally in charge of the A.I.--don't ourselves have the "right" ethical answer to this dilemma. Besides, and potentially worse, the algorithm itself might change.


Remote control TANKS demonstrated in exercise

Daily Mail

Wars of the future will be carried out largely by robots. In a step towards that scenario, machines have been used to in place of people during a joint UK-US military breaching exercise. Human soldiers watched unmanned tanks clear an area for landmines and bridge a gap over obstacles in an exercise with remote controlled tanks. It's the first time robots have been used for this purpose. Human soldiers watched unmanned tanks clear an area for landmines and bridge a gap over obstacles.