Ukraine Uses Artificial Intelligence To Speed Up Attacks

The 21st century has brought significant new developments in warfare. Technological development has led to major upgrades in military operations & tactics. The reality of the modern battlefield is presenting big challenges to established military theory, revealing significant gaps in ideas about the role of technology in modern warfare  

Indeed, Russia's failing invasion of Ukraine shows just how far modern technologies have shifted traditional warfare aa deomonstarted by the Ukrainian military, who are successfully applying advanced AI tools to publicly available imagery, producing critical actionable information for its soldiers.

Ukraine’s innovative, fast-moving military tactics owe a lot to weapons, planning, and AI intelligence in combined operations, demonstrating how to move intelligence in the form of actionable information quickly from satellites to military units on the ground. That means “trying to locate where the targets are now in the targeting board, you know, making sure that the effect that the commander wants on the battlefield is there and it's right there in the stack,” according to Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, the commanding general of US Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

New Software Tools

Innovative use of software tools is enabling the sort of highly mobile combat that Ukraine is using to push back Russian forces.

US defence contractor Palantir has developed MetaConstellation, which allows a user to specify a time and ground location. This can, for example, help identify the results of a recently launched a missile strike against a Russian forces, using an AI-assisted search of all the relevant data gathered by passing satellites to collect radio signals, thermal imagery, or aerial photos.

With this level of information, a ground commander to do the kind of search that used to be possible only at a higher HQ level, with the results available much faster than previously possible. 

Companies that sell military AI make expansive claims for what their technology can do. They say it can help with everything from the mundane to the lethal, including processing data from satellites or recognising patterns in data to help soldiers make quicker decisions on the battlefield.

  • Image recognition software can help with identifying targets. 
  • Autonomous drones can be used for surveillance or attacks on land, air, or water, or to help soldiers deliver supplies more safely than is possible by land. 

In a different example, the Ukrainian government has partnered with Clearview AI, which offers Ukrainian commanders facial recognition software to discover the social media profiles of deceased soldiers, which can be used to notify relatives and transfer bodies to the families.

Palantir:     Atlantic Council:     Defense One:        Economist:      Freiheit:     MIT:     Bloomberg:  

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