At a recent press conference, the commander of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Glen VanHerck revealed that the military was trialing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data gathering tools to predict enemies’ next steps days in advance.
So far, the Global Information Dominance Experiment (GIDE) has been showing promising results. According to ZDNet, the system was designed to gather real-time information that can aid military leaders in deterring possible conflicts, rather than responding to incidents once they’ve unfolded.
In the latest experiment carried out by the Pentagon, 11 US commands simulated the takeover of a crucial site. VanHerck said that during the trial operation, data was gathered from military and civilian sensors across the globe, before being run through an AI model that detects patterns and notifies on significant activities, such as a submarine preparing to leave a port.
Impressively, it seems the algorithm is able to predict events up to days in advance before they potentially happen. This could be expanded even further in the real world, with real-time information available from existing satellites, radars, sensors, and other cyber programs.
“The ability to see days in advance creates decision space. Decision space for me as an operational commander to potentially posture forces to create deterrence options to provide that to the secretary or even the President,” VanHerck added.
The key is that new information isn’t being discovered; rather, the system takes the information and sifts through it for key information that would typically take hours and days for analysts to process.
“Keep in mind that it’s not new information. It’s information that today is just not analyzed and processed until later in the time cycle, if you will,” VanHerck explained.
As per the commander, the AI algorithm could possibly take note of how many cars are in a parking lot, or airplanes in a hangar, and issue a warning when it notices change. It could even spot missiles preparing to be launched and prepare the Pentagon days in advance, giving leaders time to react.
While using AI and similar technology in military settings is still somewhat of a gray area, the Pentagon’s new system allows existing information to be analyzed much more efficiently, which could help save the organization and its partners tons of man hours in important situations.