Experts Predict Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Warfare

Artificial intelligence will increasingly and dramatically improve systems across the Defense Department, the director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center said.


Artificial intelligence will increasingly — and dramatically — improve systems across the Defense Department, the director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center said.

Army Lt. Gen. John N.T. ”Jack” Shanahan spoke remotely from the Pentagon yesterday with Dave Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

”It is my conviction and deep passion that AI will transform the character of warfare in the Department of Defense in the course of the next 20 years,” Shanahan said. ”There is no part of the department that will not be impacted by this, from the back office to the battlefield, from under sea to cyberspace and outer space, and all points in between.”

Artificial intelligence, often called AI, has been happening in commercial industry, but that effort only started in earnest in the department about 10 years ago, he noted, but ”we’ve been stuck in first gear in terms of fielding.”

​DOD has long struggled with how to take the world’s best research and development and field it at speed and at scale, he added.

Since the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center began operations about two years ago, all of the foundational elements have been put into place, Shanahan said, noting that the center now has 185 employees with a $1.3 billion annual budget.

Shanahan elaborated on what artificial intelligence foundational elements mean —  including AI strategy, policy, ethics, coalition partnerships, rules of engagement, user testing and evaluation.

All those elements were brought into the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, where integrated product teams for projects do all of that work simultaneously, as opposed to sequentially, he said. ”In the department, those tend to happen in very different places, and sometimes they don’t happen at all.”

The center’s initiatives are focused on lower-consequence, lower-risk missions such as preventive maintenance, humanitarian assistance, defensive cyber and business process transformation, he said.

But perhaps the most important current focus is on joint warfighting operations, he said.

Over the next one to two years, the goal will be delivery of these AI-enabled systems to the warfighter, he said. ”We have to show we’re making a difference,” he added.

Shanahan said moving the department from being an industrial age, hardware-driven force to being an information-age, software-driven, more risk-tolerant one won’t be easy. Nor will it be easy to choose where to take those risks and how to take those risks, he said.

”We’re dealing with 60 years of legacy systems, legacy workflows, legacy talent management. You can’t just bolt those cutting-edge technologies onto … legacy equipment and expect to transform the Department of Defense,” he said, adding that, culturally, AI has to be in the fabric of the department and what DOD does every single day.

Defense.gov (June 2020) Experts Predict Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Warfare

Report: Virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program

The Washington Times reported on Friday that the deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons program


The Washington Times reported on Friday that the deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons program, according to an Israeli biological warfare expert.

Radio Free Asia this week rebroadcast a local Wuhan television report from 2015 showing China’s most advanced virus research laboratory known the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Radio Free Asia reported.

The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.

The Washington Times reports:

Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese bio warfare, said the institute is linked to Beijing’s covert biological weapons program.

“Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told The Washington Times.

Work on biological weapons is conducted as part of a dual civilian-military research and is “definitely covert,” he said in an email.

Mr. Shoham holds a doctorate in medical microbiology. From 1970 to 1991 he was a senior analyst with Israeli military intelligence for biological and chemical warfare in the Middle East and worldwide, holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

China in the past has denied having any offensive biological weapons. The State Department, in a report last year, said it suspects China has engaged in covert biological warfare work.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.

Chinese authorities so far have said the origin of the coronavirus that has killed scores and infected hundreds in in central Hubei Province is not known.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, including outside of Hubei Province.

Infections with 2019-nCoV also are being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States, where the first and second 2019-nCoV infections were reported on January 21 and January 24, 2020, respectively, both in travelers returning from Wuhan.

Help me offset the cost of this reporting and maintaining this blog by donating here.