A new study released by the Defense Science Board on autonomy has found that if the U.S. does not learn from past mistakes in cyber and electronic warfare, it could make the same with artificial intelligence technology.
The 121-page study, Autonomy [PDF], found that while the Department of Defense (DoD) is already embracing the value of autonomous capabilities it had yet to familiarize its enterprise processes to effectively support the rapid and widespread adoption warranted by the potential benefits, in addition to the potential threats autonomy could play in the hands of enemies.
The study stated that:
Autonomy will deliver substantial operational value – in multiple dimensions – across an increasingly broad spectrum of DoD missions, but the DoD must move more rapidly to realize this value.
It further added that allies and adversaries already have access to rapid technical advances, driven by commercial market forces stemming from a variety of commercial markets.
The study confirmed that the increasing use of artificial intelligence would likely play a significant role in military success, but that the U.S. needed to expand on this technology in order to help the U.S. maintain a military advantage.
Cyber and Electronic Warfare
The study highlighted the U.S.’s past mistakes in cyber and electronic warfare. For instance, the U.S. focused on developing offensive cyber capabilities without focusing on hardening their own systems against attack from others.
The study said:
For years, it has been clear that certain countries could, and most likely would, develop the technology and expertise to use cyber and electronic warfare against U.S. forces.
As a consequence of the neglect, the DoD spent a large amount of money attempting to ‘patch’ up the systems against potential attacks.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the Pentagon is warning that the U.S. must take heed of the lessons from its mistakes with cyber and electronic warfare or else it risks repeating the same mistakes with the use of autonomy too.
Featured image from Shutterstock.