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How AI, Drones and Big Data Are Reshaping The Future Of Warfare
October 7, 2016 News AI big data Drones IoT Warfare


Big data and IoT are transforming how wars are being fought. Technology is changing not just how we engage with our enemies but also the fronts on which we will engage them. It’s also potentially promising to help bring about world peace.

Autonomous fighters

Autonomous stealth drones such as the Taranis produced by BAE Systems change the way traditional wars are fought.

The Taranis (aptly named for the Celtic god of thunder) can fly to a preselected area on a programmed flight path, identify a threat, target that threat, and alert a human operator that it has identified a target. The human operator reviews the information, approves the attack, and the drone fires a missile and destroys the target before flying itself back home.

Drones are already in wide military use conducting surveillance and even attacking hostile targets. Drones can spot submarines and mines, and even deliver humanitarian aid to places where aid convoys cannot go. They are smaller, stealthier, and safer for the troops employing them. The possibility that the drone could be spotted from the ground is slimmer, and when it is, the pilot is safely back at base, operating the vehicle from a computer station.

Of course, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of autonomous machines capable of killing and destroying. More than 16,000 researchers and thought leaders have signed an open letter to the United Nations calling for the body to ban the creation of autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons, including Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, physicist Stephen Hawking, and Google’s director of research Peter Norvig.

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator (Photo by Cristina Young/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

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