We just finished reading Paul Sharre’s excellent book, Four Battlegrounds, in which he considers how artificial intelligence is not just fueling but causing a new industrial military complex.

Scharre takes readers inside the fierce competition to develop and implement this game-changing technology. He explores the ways AI systems are already rapidly discovering new strategies via millions of war-game simulations, developing combat tactics better than any human, tracking billions of people using biometrics, and subtly controlling information with secret algorithms.

Of course he points out things that you likely already know like, how amazing Generative-AI tools like ChatGPT can be can have their guardrails circumvented to help our enemies produce biological weapons. The old formulas for such unsavory weapons have been published in various papers, books, and web pages over the decades. As much as Generative AI programmers from responsible companies like Microsoft will try to bury, obfuscate or otherwise ignore these formulas, other countries will not.

If you’re not already aware, You have free and full access to the most powerful version ChatGPT through their partnership Microsoft. Click HERE for simply instructions on how to use the most current version ChatGPT for free, without even having to logon.

As a computer tech I can tell you that from first hand daily experience, one of the things a generative AI does very well is coding. This means artificial intelligence is extremely useful in the much more rapid development of computerize weaponry. Targeting systems, navigation, and deciding if a potential target is friend or foe, are all things that are dramatically easier to do today than they were even two years ago.

For example, the US military could send a dozen cruise missiles into a battle zone and have the missiles figure out which are the highest value targets on the fly, literally. Missile one might have an intended destination of a weapons compound, but if it flies over a troop carrier that it recognizes as transporting a senior general, the missile has been programmed to allow that target to be changed and how best to attack the new target.

The United States has committed publicly and in writing to never give artificial intelligence control over its nuclear weapons. But here’s the thing, Russia has not done that, China has not committed to that, and future terrorists certainly won’t. More importantly when it gets right down to it, those are just words on paper and when a war gets to an existential level, previous decisions will be quickly overruled and changed. In other words the US commitment today, may be very sincere but it probably doesn’t mean much 50 years from now.

This rapid development of weapons systems that can accurately make their own decisions, has already led to virtually all funded militaries around the globe to work on developing weapon systems that also decide the strategy not just how to hit the target. Following this logic means that eventually, and that time is not in the too distant future, it is absolutely inevitable that one party to a war will simply hand over both the strategy and control of military weapons, on the battlefield. Most likely that will be a smaller, less capable opponent, who has little to lose personally by giving artificial intelligence full control of the battlefield.

When an opponent hands over strategy, command, and control to an artificial intelligence, things on the battlefield will move at an exponentially faster rate. Human decision makers will simply will not be able to keep up with. In the tech world that’s called “superhuman”, and it is about as scary as it sounds.

What is the other side, to do? Humans make military strategy decisions in days and in hours at best. Opponents facing artificial intelligence, will have little choice but to also give control of not only the command of weaponry but also the strategy for that weaponry, to their artificial intelligence.

At this point we will have an artificial intelligence fighting an artificial intelligence but with real world weapons and real human casualties.

Before you start freaking out, quitting your job, or losing sleep, know that that time is not today or is even likely in the next decade. However, we don’t see a scenario in the distant future where this does not become reality.

Does a sci-fi movie like Arnold Schwartzenger’ Terminator and its AI powered ‘skynet’, portend the future? It certainly seems to.

Categories: Technology


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