In a just-released white paper, the Army describes how it's working to make a Battlefield network of machines and humans a reality. The Next Web reports: "Most of such intelligent things will not be too dissimilar from the systems we see on today's battlefield, such as unattended ground sensors, guided missiles (especially the fire-and-forget variety) and of course the unmanned aerial systems (UAVs)," reads the paper. "They will likely include physical robots ranging from very small size (such as an insect-scale mobile sensors) to large vehicle that can carry troops and supplies. Some will fly, others will crawl or walk or ride." The paper was authored by the Army's chief of the Network Science Division of the Army Research Laboratory, Dr. Alexander Kott. It outlines the need to develop systems to augment both machines and people in the real world with artificially intelligent agents to defend the network: "In addition to physical intelligent things, the battlefield -- or at least the cyber domain of the battlefield -- will be populated with disembodied, cyber robots. These will reside within various computers and networks, and will move and acts in the cyberspace." Kott takes pains to underscore the fact that the AI powering U.S. war efforts will need to be resilient in ways that today's AI simply isn't. He states: "The intelligent things will have to constantly think about an intelligent adversary that strategizes to deceive and defeat them. Without this adversarial intelligence, the battle things will not survive long enough to be useful." Ultimately, aside from outlining what the future battlefield will look like, the paper's conclusion is either disappointing or a giant relief, depending on your agenda: "Clearly, it is far beyond the current state of AI to operate intelligently in such an environments and with such demands. In particular, Machine Learning -- an area that has seen a dramatic progress in the last decade -- must experience major advances in order to become relevant to the real battlefield."
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