Modern Warfare, Modern Technologies

AI, Drones And Everything In Between

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In this edition, we take a look at how AI and drones are changing the face of modern warfare.

Image generated using Dall-E

New-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and drones have changed the face of modern warfare forever.

The need for James Bond and satellite imagery has gradually become less important as technology takes over almost every aspect of human intelligence. 

Throw in drones and you get a very potent combination of modern technology and engineering. 

While boots on the ground are still an essential part of warfare, as the Russia-Ukraine war has shown, unmanned drones have proven to be increasingly useful.

This allows countries at war to minimize the loss of troops but comes at a higher monetary cost.

Examples Of AI And Drones Being Used In Conflicts

Israel-Hamas Conflict

Source: Shutterstock

Last month, a report by the New York Times revealed that Israel has launched a major facial recognition program in the Gaza Strip, without the knowledge or consent of Palestinians.

As per the report, the country has created a database and uses the technology to identify individuals related to Hamas. This program uses technology from Google Photos and a custom tool developed by the Tel Aviv-based company Corsight.

Russia-Ukraine War

Source: Shutterstock

In February and March 2024, Ukraine took responsibility for sinking or disabling several Russian vessels in the Black Sea using naval drones.

Last month, Ukraine’s Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk told The Associated Press that the latest hit was launched with Neptune missiles, which also attacked Sevastopol port facilities and an oil depot.

Ukraine was reportedly meticulously targeting Russian infrastructure using drones, with oil and refining installations at the top of their list.

Houthi Attacks In The Red Sea

Representational image, generated using Dall-E

Houthi rebels launched over 40 attacks on ships in the Red Sea amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Once again, drones were used in these attacks, allowing the Houthi rebels to carry out attacks with minimal human involvement in the seas.

AI Is Now A Critical Tool In Warfare, Thanks To Algorithms And Vision

AI has become a critical tool in modern warfare, reshaping strategic decision-making processes. An investigation by Israeli publication +972 Magazine and Local Call, previously revealed that the country’s military has been using AI via a system called Lavender to choose bombing targets in Gaza.

Image generated using Dall-E

Similarly, in mid-2022, Ukraine reportedly launched an AI-enabled platform that enables the country to only use the data it needs, which avoids potential mishaps of sending confidential and sensitive information to commercial firms.

Ukraine is also using AI via unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs and drones by capturing footage and identifying individuals suspected of war crimes during Russia’s invasion along with tracking troop movements.

In February earlier this year, the U.S. military also confirmed its use of AI to identify targets across the Middle East during the execution of over 85 US air strikes on Feb. 2.

The strikes aimed at seven facilities in Iraq and Syria, including rocket and missile storage, drone facilities, and militia operations centers.

“We’ve been using computer vision to identify where there might be threats,” said Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer for the U.S. Central Command, at the time.

The U.S. government recently announced that it is accelerating the Replicator initiative. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks touted it as a “game-changing shift” in global defense.

Expert’s Insight: How AI Can Help Further?

It’s not just algorithm and vision-based decisions that AI can help. Alp Sevimlisoy, geopolitical strategist & defense specialist, told Benzinga that the benefits also include faster decision-making.

"We must couple AI & quantum computing with satellite technology in order to boost battlefield troop decisions without the need to await confirmations from central command with AI being provisioned success parameters that would enable critical decisions to be taken at speed.”

He also said AI can be used to ensure troops and resources are placed “where they can best strike at the Russian Federation’s units.”

Quality, Not Quantity, Is What Matters When It Comes To Drones

Image generated using Dall-E

As far as drones are concerned, Sevimlisoy says the quality and capability of the arsenal is what defines success.

“Regional adversaries such as the Islamic Republic of Iran rely on volume with cheaply made and inferior drone units relative to our cumulative strength notably in the air defense field.”

The U.S. and its allies have been able to eliminate this threat comfortably, according to Sevimlisoy.

“We have been able to comfortably eliminate a wide array of Iranian drones via combined U.S. & U.K. aerial command as well as countermeasures launched from the US naval fleet.”

Sevimlisoy also thinks that AI will help NATO members analyze enemy threats in real-time, allowing troops to neutralize targets using a “building-by-building information feed,” and prevent innocent civilians from being targeted.

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Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipment Forecasts

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Microsoft's New AI Model

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