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Breaking Defense

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centaur warfare

How AI Could Change The Art Of War

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Time-honored principles of command get weird when you add the fundamentally alien thinking of an artificial intelligence.

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ATLAS: Killer Robot? No. Virtual Crewman? Yes.

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Alarming headlines to the contrary, the US Army isn’t building robotic “killing machines.” What they really want artificial intelligence to do in combat is much more interesting.

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Army Wants Revolutionary Scout Aircraft For $30 Million, Same As Apache E

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) must have enough artificial intelligence to fly unmanned at least part of the time, a secure network to control drones, and combination of speed and range that’s impossible for traditional helicopters.

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Artificial Stupidity: Fumbling The Handoff From AI To Human Control

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Science fiction taught us to fear smart machines we can’t control. But reality should teach us to fear smart machines that need us to take control when we’re not ready. From Patriot missiles to Tesla cars to Airbus jets, automated systems have killed human beings, not out of malice, but because the humans operating them… Keep reading →

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Artificial Stupidity: When Artificial Intelligence + Human = Disaster

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY: Futurists worry about artificial intelligence becoming too intelligent for humanity’s good. Here and now, however, artificial intelligence can be dangerously dumb. When complacent humans become over-reliant on dumb AI, people can die. The lethal track record goes from the Tesla Autopilot crash last year, to the Air France 447 disaster that killed 228… Keep reading →

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Lockheed Exoskeleton Gives Troops A Leg Up, Literally

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It is not Iron Man. It isn’t even Iron Fist. Lockheed Martin’s newest exoskeleton is more like Iron Leg. But for a soldier humping his weapons, ammo and body armor up a mountain in Afghanistan or a high-rise building in a future urban battle, a device to take the load off would be welcome. And, unlike… Keep reading →

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MDC2: Air Force Works On Huge Command, Control System; Allies Key

Posted by Colin Clark on


ORLANDO: Want to defeat an enemy? Get inside his decision cycle. Hammer away at his forces, confuse his command, steal his intelligence. Sun Tzu said most of it ages ago, but it remains true today. The key to such success is, first, understanding what you and the enemy are doing and, second, communicating that understanding to… Keep reading →

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Best Of 2016: Rise Of The Robots

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


How does war change when your weapons can think? Do you trust a computer to decide when and whom to kill? Questions once asked only in science fiction are now becoming matters for policymakers. All four armed services are experimenting with artificial intelligence in every domain: land, sea, air, outer space, cyberspace, and the all-pervasive… Keep reading →

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DSD Work Embraces DARPA’s Robot Boat, Sea Hunter

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


This afternoon, Deputy Defense Secretary and robotics booster Bob Work will christen the largest unmanned surface vessel in history. At 130 feet long and not quite 140 tons displacement, DARPA’s Sea Hunter dwarfs previous robotic boats, giving it the ruggedness and fuel capacity, about 70 days’ worth, to cross oceans on its own power without a manned mothership. But… Keep reading →

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Faster Than Thought: DARPA, Artificial Intelligence, & The Third Offset Strategy

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ARLINGTON: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing artificial intelligence that can help humans understand the floods of data they unleashed 50 years ago with the Internet and make better decisions, even in the heat of battle. Such “human-machine collaboration” — informally known as the centaur model — is the high-tech holy grail… Keep reading →

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