Report provides insight into intelligent robotic systems

The Department of Defense (DoD) believes that due to technological advances, it is just a matter of time before wars will be controlled using weapons managed by robotic systems.

Officials at the Pentagon are prepared to do what is necessary to keep its edge over rival nations, such as China, including exploring the progress of technological war options.

Since revolutions in technology is beyond the control of the DoD, it predicts that automation in war could become a reality in as little as 15 years.

Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense talked about the Defense Innovation Initiative which is being put in place in order to discover technological breakthroughs in order for the US to maintain dominance is the area of military technology.  Areas that will be included in this initiative will be miniaturization, autonomous systems, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and Big Data.

The Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the DoD National Defense University (NDU) in Washington DC examined the initiative and created a 72 page report with its findings.

The report sheds light on the Pentagon’s intention to monopolize technological advances in several areas, including robotics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy, and information technology. It also includes references to a document prepared by Robert Work, a deputy defense secretary who is leading the initiative.

The NDU’s report written by Pentagon advisors Dr. Linton Wells and Dr. James Kadtkenotes that the initiative may negatively impact the US military and that the DoD must take action to avoid this.  Other concerns include the decline of social, political and economic welfare worldwide.

A key purpose of the report is to improve the ability of the US intelligence to analyze information without need for human interaction, and to discover under what terms the Pentagon can utilize personal information about US citizens from social networking sites.  The report explains that data collection on a large scale can be improved by partnering with private businesses in order to obtain and analyze information quickly while reducing the need for manpower.

The report suggests that devices that are more increasingly being embedded in gadgets will close the gap between robotics in the conventional sense and the intelligent devices of today which use the Internet to exchange information with other devices. The report anticipates that devices throughout society will be interlinked by 2030, the Mint Press News reports.

The authors of the report believe that the military usage of these technologies will be in the areas of communications, intelligence and surveillance.

The report goes on to warn that as robotic systems increase in intelligence, war could be initiated without human intervention. It notes that the Pentagon needs to ensure that the public knows that weapon creation and resulting wars will not take place without management by humans. In spite of this, the report does not recommend that unmanned war elements should not be developed.

The NDU report indicates that artificial intelligence (AI) may be achieved within the next 10 years since there is evidence that the power of the human brain could be matched by technological advances by the end of the next decade.

According the report, it is possible for robotic soldiers to be created in the future. It predicts that the Pentagon will be overseeing any planning of intelligent machines, their uses and risks, including Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), genetic medicine, and wearable devices.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE