Al Brown discusses new technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence entering armed conflict
Secretary of Defence James Mattis recently said of artificial intelligence: "I'm certainly questioning my original premise that the fundamental nature of war will not change. You've got to question that now. I just don’t have the answers yet." Vladimir Putin stated: "Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind." "Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world."
Robotics and artificial intelligence are already being employed in conflict. However, artificial intelligence manages to sit at the peak of 'inflated expectations' on Gartner's technology hype curve whilst simultaneously being underestimated in other assessments. So what are the likely effects on conflict of the trends in artificial intelligence, robotics, economics, data and society? And what do people commonly get wrong -- often with total certainty?
Al Brown works at the Ministry of Defence's independent think tank where he leads on examining trends in robotics and artificial intelligence, and the potential impacts that follow for the future of conflict. He has provided testimony on technology trends, including AI and robotics, and their defence and security implications to a number of organisations, including the United Nations. His military career has included multiple operational tours of Afghanistan and Kosovo. He is by military trade an explosive ordinance disposal officer, a field where robotics, data and algorithms have already been saving lives in conflict for a number of years.