If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is focused on overlaying artificial intelligence tools on the military's mega information-sharing platform effort, called Joint All Domain Command and Control. Nand Mulchandani, JAIC's acting director, told reporters during a July 8 news briefing the center is "spending a lot of time and resources focused on building the AI components on top of JADC2," which is a patchwork quilt of platforms to improve coordination and information sharing. This involves figuring out how to build AI components, such as data, AI modeling, training and deployment, across all domains including cyber, he said. Mulchandani said JAIC is also investing in cognitive assistance technologies, helping human operators make better decisions, using "predictive analytics or picking out particular things of interest, and those types of information overload cleanup." Working through objections to the Defense Department's use of AI in weapons systems is still a chief concern, however.
The concern of machine ethics and laws spills into the everyday workings of society, not just the domain of defense. Many concepts revolve around the law of armed conflict, societal law, ethical dilemmas, psychological concepts and artificially intelligent cyber systems, as well as their relationships among each other. In addition to the delineation of machine ethic guidelines, an ethical life cycle is necessary to account for changes over time in national circumstances and personal beliefs. Just recently, the Defense Innovation Board, which serves as an advisory board to the Pentagon, met and published ethical guidelines in designing and implementing artificially intelligent weapons. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the Defense Department must satisfy the conditions of responsibility, equitability, traceability, reliability and governability.
A mushroom cloud explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 forever changed the nature of warfare. Science had given birth to weapons so powerful they could end humanity. To survive, the United States had to develop new strategies and policies that responsibly limited nuclear weapon proliferation and use. Warfare is again changing as modern militaries integrate autonomous and semiautonomous weapon systems into their arsenals. The United States must act swiftly to maximize the potential of these new technologies or risk losing its dominance.
Unbeknownst to the CEO of a company who was interviewed on TV last year, a hacking group that was trailing the CEO taped the interview and then taught a computer to perfectly imitate the CEO's voice -- so it could then give credible instructions for a wire transfer of funds to a third party. This "voice phishing" hack brought to light the growing abilities of artificial intelligence-based technologies to perpetuate cyber-attacks and cyber-crime. Using new AI-based software, hackers have imitated the voices of a number of senior company officials around the world and thereby given out instructions to perform transactions for them, such as money transfers. The software can learn how to perfectly imitate a voice after just 20 minutes of listening to it and can then speak with that voice and say things that the hacker types into the software. Get The Start-Up Israel's Daily Start-Up by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up Some of these attempts were foiled, but other hackers were successful in getting their hands on money.
DeepMind, an offshoot of Google's parent company, debuted a computer program in January capable of beating professional players at one of the world's toughest video games. StarCraft is a military science fiction franchise set in a universe rife with conflict, where armies of opponents face off to become the most powerful. And DeepMind's program, called AlphaStar, reached StarCraft II's highest rank -- Grandmaster. It can defeat 99.8 percent of human players, according to a study published in the journal Nature in October. StarCraft is one of the most popular, difficult electronic sports in the world.
When it comes to future military readiness, 2019 has been the year of artificial intelligence. The Department of Defense launched its AI strategy in February followed by the White House's executive order on "Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence" -- both of which indicate accelerated delivery of AI-enabled capabilities and scaling the technology across DOD while cultivating a much-needed tech workforce. Military leaders recognize AI's potentially seismic impact on their mission and operations, and they expect practical applications to proliferate, from threat monitoring to asset tracking to predictive maintenance. Where, when and how those applications evolve from idea to reality is an unfolding story. So too is the global AI landscape, as Russia, China and other countries make substantial investments in such capabilities.
After a rash of tech employee protests, the Defense Department wants to hire an artificial intelligence ethicist. "We are going to bring on someone who has a deep background in ethics," tag-teaming with DOD lawyers to make sure AI can be "baked in," Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who leads the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, told reporters during an Aug. 30 media briefing. The AI ethical advisor would sit under the JAIC, the Pentagon's strategic nexus for AI projects and plans, to help shape the organization's approach to incorporating AI capabilities in the future. The announcement follows protests by Google and Microsoft employees concerned about how the technology would be used -- particularly in lethal systems -- and questioning whether major tech companies should do business with DOD. The JAIC is building an AI ethics process with input from the Defense Innovation Board, the National Security Council and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Policy to address AI ethics policy concerns and offer recommendations to the defense secretary.
Star Trek's stories are infused with myriad, complex technologies -- many of which can't easily be explained even by engineers. But what if they break down or learn too much? In the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, a sophisticated computer program known as Control ran amok, bent on fulfilling its mission in a way its human designers never intended. It took over computer systems and eventually starships and space stations. It also hacked into a human-robot hybrid and deployed swarms of nanobots for nefarious purposes.
Cybersecurity defense systems will need to become more sophisticated in order to cope with huge amounts of data. First, we will need to interconnect our defense systems to be able to act in real time. For example, our network gateway will need to share information with our personal devices. Second, the human analyst will not be able to cope with all this information and we will rely on more artificial intelligence to help us in making decisions. We will also need to cultivate the next generation of cyber experts who know how to develop and drive those systems.
As cyber threats continue to evolve, big data and machine learning are increasingly necessary for a strong cyber security strategy. Will Cappelli, vice president of research at Gartner, says that companies are combining big data and machine learning capabilities as part of a more powerful approach to cyber security. In terms of market size, Gartner estimates that in 2016 the world spent approximately $800 million on the application of big data and machine learning technologies to security use cases," he explains. The idea is to deploy a platform that aggregates and manages big data, and to combine this with a machine learning algorithm that analyzes this data to uncover hidden patterns and detect threats. As cyber security strategies evolve to protect against hackers, hackers are developing increasingly sophisticated strategies to bypass these protections.