World War 3 warning as AI weapons to enter warfare by end of decade | World | News

AI World War 3

Super AI weapons to enter warfare. (Image: Getty)

The AI revolution is here, and it’s changing the world as we know it. Specifically, the world of war.

It recently emerged that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are actively using an AI system named ‘Habsora’ to identify targets in their conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Commenting on the situation in Gaza and the broader realm of warfare, political sociologist Bianca Baggiarini warned that military forces already employ remote and autonomous systems as “force multipliers” to amplify the effectiveness of their troops and safeguard their soldiers. AI systems, she added, have the potential to enhance soldiers’ efficiency and accelerate the pace and lethality of warfare. Although human presence on the battlefield will diminish as AI’s shadow grows, she fears that the technology will contribute to the dehumanization of adversaries and further disconnect wars from the societies on whose behalf they are fought.

AI warfare of tomorrow could look more like a hyper-realistic computer game. However, unlike a computer game, real people will lose their lives. AI’s influence, according to Baggiarini, already permeates virtually every aspect of warfare, from providing support in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations, to the development of “lethal autonomous weapons systems” capable of independently selecting and engaging targets without any human intervention whatsoever. Joseph Dana, another political expert well-versed in AI agrees with Baggiarini. AI systems, he says, already decide who lives and who dies.

It’s important to remember that we are still in the age of weak AI, otherwise known as narrow AI. Strong AI, or artificial general intelligence (AGI) is not here yet —- but it’s on its way, according to a number of renowned experts. In fact, it could be here by the end of the decade. Weak AI refers to systems designed for very specific tasks. Strong AI, on the other hand, can complete a variety of tasks, many times faster than the vast majority of humans.

Michael Raska, an expert in the area of AI-driven warfare, told the Daily Express US that the ways in which artificial intelligence is shaping combat are numerous.

“Different militaries are responding differently to the same technological breakthroughs, such as the convergence between AI systems, cyber, and robotics,” he noted. Hence, there are now multiple AI trajectories taking shape. The trajectories, according to Raska, “depend on the conceptual vision, organizational agility, and technological innovation levels” of different nations. “Not all militaries have the same AI vision, resources, and ability to scale-up from AI experimentation, so the impact on warfare varies,” he added.

However, Raska, a defense specialist at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said that advanced militaries in places like the US, China and Russia all “have the capability to collect unprecedented data streams in real time from numerous advanced C4ISR sensors – which stand for Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), both at the strategic and tactical levels.”

In plain English, every military platform depends on many sensors and data streams. “All militaries,” said Raska, a man whose research interests focus on innovation and the ways in which innovative ideas fuel military-technological progress, “strive and often struggle to integrate these sensors, and make sense of the data they provide. The reality is that militaries are constrained by their own biases in terms of what they think they need to know from these sensors, and increasingly are overloaded with information and data from these networks of sensors.”

Advanced AI systems cut through these biases and supercharge the decision-making process.

Today, Raska concluded that “we can see only the tip of the AI iceberg – i.e. ChaptGPT, proliferation of autonomous weapons systems, AI-enhanced sensor-intelligence cycle, AI man-machine interface.” Two decades from now, however, the AI revolution will really begin —- “with massive, long-term structural and systemic consequences.” AI, according to the expert, “will accelerate the organizational decay of old military bureaucracies that will be unable to change;” It will also “revamp military education and training; AI will rewire the military-industrial complex; and enable novel civil-military-corporate warfighting platforms. In other words, “rather than envisioning AI as augmenting existing military concepts, organizations, and weapons, in many ways, AI will replace them. Traditional conflict paradigms will morph into a Star Wars paradigm, in which AI will enable the weaponization of everything, where information and data will be seen simultaneously as a target and weapon; AI-driven platforms will break down civil-military silos and domains, which will make future battle spaces more fluid.” Finally, he said, “we will see accelerating proliferation of autonomous weapons systems – from cheap next-generation FPV drones to super-expensive hypersonic missiles, etc. The real impact, however, “will not be technological, but a major military organizational and systemic change.”

Warfare, a couple of decades from now, will look radically different — with AI, not humans, calling the shots.

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