As we embark upon a new decade, it seems there will be no slowing down in the constant drive to develop new technologies, thus transforming almost every aspect of our lives. Advances are being made across all sectors – including automotive, communications and energy, to name just three.
And in recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has made major strides, gradually embedding itself in our everyday existence. Defined by Techopedia as “an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans”, some are concerned that the increased implementation of AI may soon render human intervention obsolete.
Although that would certainly seem an extreme scenario, there’s no doubting that if used correctly, AI can be harnessed in an entirely positive way. One thing that seems certain is its continued growth – the global AI software market is predicted to be worth $118.6 billion by 2025. That’s more than a 500% increase from projected figures for this year.
As we’ve already noted, AI is becoming an increasingly prominent factor across many industries, and that’s certainly no different when it comes to the issue of national security. So, how exactly might artificial intelligence play a role in transforming that particular sector?
Misinformation and decoys
According to the United States’ Congressional Research Service, AI is “enabling increasingly realistic photo, audio, and video forgeries”, all of which pose potential threats to national and international security. With greater access to more legitimate-looking fakes, possible criminals have an increased chance of circumventing security protocols and capitalising on serious breaches, using any information gained to their advantage.
Faster, more informed decisions
The advances in technology mean a wider range of data can be analysed in a more time-efficient manner, which in turn enables the higher echelons of security organisations to make faster decisions that have been informed by a greater amount of granular detail. For example, oscilloscopes from RS Components regulate and repair waveform signals and frequencies, which can then be assessed by police forces and other authorities as to whether they constitute any illegal activity that may require preventative or retaliatory action to be taken.
Removal of the human element – to an extent
AI’s detractors point to the possible eventuality that the technology may reach a stage so advanced that the need for human intervention at any stage of the process is removed altogether. While some automated procedures may benefit from the elimination of an extra layer in the workflow, it’s hard to envisage any major national security scenario – such as the decision to deploy an air strike, for example – that wouldn’t require a human being to provide a level of intuition based on intangibles that a machine may be incapable of recognising and factoring into the equation.
Artificial intelligence may also afford military forces to employ autonomous vehicles that can transport cargo, carry out missions and be used for surveillance tasks – all without risk to human life. Vessels for land, air and sea are all being developed with these capabilities, so national security organisations will have greater resources at their disposal but will also need to be wary of an increased level of threat from potential hostiles who may also be using AI to their advantage.