Reading an article headline such as “AI to be used in U.S. Army combat vehicles” may appear to be hype or even a thing potentially possible far off in the future. But no. Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming more of a major part of everyday life and its new technology making use of its analytics and other tools will now be implemented in the United States Army combative vehicles.
The Army wants some of their vehicles to be able to drive themselves and be able to independently select and prioritize targets with the use of AI in combat vehicles. The goal is to take some of the burden off of the soldiers’ shoulders. New technologies built into the vehicles aim to analyze an apparently infinite amount of data in order to target specific required data within mere seconds. This development is set to broaden and efficiently select the U.S. Army’s attack choices, placing them at a considerable advantage.
A vast amount of research time has been allocated to this project and the Army have spearheaded numerous research programs to ensure soldiers’ capabilities are optimally utilized. Some of these programs include the Essential Research Program and the Artificial Intelligence Maneuver and Mobility Program (AIMM). The main objective of these research programs is to develop independently-operating systems that can assist the U.S. Army in efficiently executing their Multi-Domain Operations. The aim is to have soldiers driving the vehicles while looking up and ahead, fully aware of any hazards or threats instead of looking down at the vehicle controls a significant amount of the time. The soldiers may be required to operate the vehicles in deserts, woodland, forests or other potentially treacherous terrain. They may need to advance in a stealthy manager or many need to forge ahead as quickly as possible. It all depends on a variety of facts such as type of target, location, country, the experience of the soldier driving the vehicle – and many, many more scenarios. The Army wants soldiers to be able to do their jobs effectively and not have to concentrate on operating the vehicle. An autonomous system has the prospect of being extremely effective on the battlefield, and therefore the extensive research that has been done on artificial intelligence in this type of execution.
Dr. John Fossaceca, AIMM Program manager said the following about the use of AI in combat vehicles: “We want to perform very specific tasks at first but make them very robust and make them operate really well. And then, as time goes on, we want to make things more general so that systems can do a lot more than just very narrow, specific tasks on the battlefield.” A short-term objective of the research program has been the expansion of intelligent mobility, using limited artificial intelligence in environments where there has been minimal previous training data. Take for example self-driving cars. They usually require a lot of data to help train the vehicle’s system. However, in the Army’s research programs, researchers have created several techniques to decrease the amount of data required, and therefore vehicle training time.