back to article Forget Terminators, says US military, the next-gen AI battles will hinge upon net infrastructure, not killer robots

The nation to dominate modern warfare with AI will not have necessarily built the most deadly killer robot or algorithm – it’ll be the one that has the best infrastructure to support and quickly deploy new technologies in the battlefield, according to US military experts. Colonel Brad Boyd, the chief of Joint Warfighting …

  1. USER100

    Short-term thinking

    > “What we’re working the hardest on is infrastructure, that is where the fight of 20 years will be won... It’s not who has the most exquisite algorithm – that will be obsolete in 20 years – it will be who has the best infrastructure that will still be around in 50 years."

    The way things are going there might not be any infrastructure in 50 years. It's funny that when it comes to macho stuff like weaponry, governments are only too keen to think long term, when the real need for future planning is to reverse environmental destruction/climate change/massive concentration of wealth at the top (they are all linked).

    > 'the Pentagon’s $10bn enormo-enterprise-cloud project dubbed JEDI'. WTF? They're actually serious. SHB Joint Operational Knucklehead Enterprise. 'JEDI'. LOL

    1. cyberdemon
      Coat

      Re: Short-term thinking

      Yes, but as you say it'll be a good few decades until that REALLY starts to bite. Meanwhile, the elderly despots currently in charge will continue making the world their playground while they are still alive.

      What I fear most is that "man's inhumanity to man" will become brutally apparent over the next few years.

      It's (sadly) an ecological certainty that the human population must reduce significantly over the next decade or few, since our numbers are inflated thanks to to this oh so fragile global economy that we have set up, based on oil and other finite resources.

      The struggle for survival will be brutal, but our current leaders will be dead by then.

      Personally, I think nuclear war is optimistic. It would be nice to be humanely vapourised as in the opening of Battlestar Gallactica. But more likely, we will be stabbed by our neighbours for the last tin of baked beans in the cupboard.

      Mine's the one with the Bug Out kit sewn in.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Zero Short-Term Thinking and Tinkering Here

      'the Pentagon’s $10bn enormo-enterprise-cloud project dubbed JEDI'. WTF? They're actually serious. SHB Joint Operational Knucklehead Enterprise. 'JEDI'. LOL .... USER100

      Take a chill pill, red or blue, USER100, and try to relax .... for your incredible wonderment/incredulous befuddlement at the Microsoft/Pentagon JEDI Project is just a simple resulting byproduct and convenient security default protecting the unwary and ill-prepared from the consequences and products in the Vast Sees and Deep Vaults of the Cyber Industrious Field. There be countless others, with many remaining as yet untold and unknown/stealthy and secret.

      Another known one is harboured in AWS Command and Control Containers with Bezos's billions to play with and pay for Thin Clients which be Zeek and Virtual Private Cloud Ring Masters ‽ Wannabe Kings and Queens and Naked Emperors and Empresses hold Court and would Wield Absolute Sway both before and after the Fact with the exercise of Immaculate Fictions in those ACTive IT Spaces/Live Operational Virtual Environments, which you might like to realise and accept is presented and promoted as a future proof best infrastructure model for a today with 0days that has been around since forever, but was never before earlier engaged on Earth because there was never enough local intelligence readily freely available to employ and enjoy the fruits of ITs Bounty ‽ :-) I Kid U Not, for how else would you like to explain away your glorious ignorance in such matters.

      And y'all here might like to think, rather than unfortunately it being unlikely to be soon, there be those presently, in the here and now, enabled to rule the world in such a way as is/was mooted by Chris G on this thread, although not necessarily mastered by the Pentagon, although that is not to say it is not mastered for the Pentagon

      I think they should try their hands at satire and sarcasm and maybe a touch of irony. The Irish Celts could make and break kings with a satirical pamphlet and some believed a master satirist could kill with words. .... Chris G

      Indeed, all of the above may be evidence of its Secure State Operational Development in Advanced IntelAIgent Deployments.

    3. Mike the FlyingRat

      Re: Short-term thinking

      Sorry, but had to down vote.

      Most people gloss over the infrastructure.

      You still need it. 'Serverless software/infrastructure' still needs servers.

  2. Sparkus

    I'm of the opinion that next next serious wars will be fought via the personal touch; poison, gas, knife play, assassination. Too much to lose in commerce and infrastructure to risk turning the military-industrial complex on civilization.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Try sticks and sharpened rocks.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Mushroom

        No, that's WW IV. After the nukes get loose in WW III.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      I think they should try their hands at satire and sarcasm and maybe a touch of irony. The Irish Celts could make and break kings with a satirical pamphlet and some believed a master satirist could kill with words.

      If the pentagon can master those, they will be able to rule the world, fortunately, it is unlikely to be soon.

      1. Wim Ton

        <sarcasm>Isn't the current US government a satire?</sarcasm>

        1. keith_w Bronze badge

          No, it's a farce.

        2. DoctorNine

          I wouldn't say just the US. There are good odds that the UK won't even exist as going concern for very much longer, unless something's done about Scotland and Northern Ireland to keep them from leaving the dance. Populist efforts to resist the massive gravity of globalization, and retain nation state centered control mechanisms of the post-cold war era, are likely to be insufficient.

          So I suspect this is, rather than a satire, a tragedy. Wherein the innate efficiencies of totalitarianism outcompete the muddled and conflicting impulses of democratic rule, in order to assert global dominance and control.

          Of course I'll be dead by then. But you kiddies should really be less blasé about the whole thing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too much to lose in commerce and infrastructure to

      I'd be inclined to hazard a guess that this was probably always the case, ... but did that stop the people in charge?

  3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Why wage war ?

    There is at the moment only 2 large powers - the USA and China. If you look at the US Debt Clock (https://www.usdebtclock.org/ ) especially the amount of unfunded liabilities (over $154 trillion and currently rising at over $15 million per minute!!), it is difficult to see the US staying as a major power. Sooner or later the US will go the same way as the USSR - economic collapse. If the human race is very lucky then the US President when that happens will not be as stupid as the current one and will not launch nukes.

    When the US collapses, it will take down the world financial structure - only China has a chance of weathering the storm.

    China at the moment is propping up the US by accepting Treasury Bills that they know may become worthless, the reason - China wants to be self sufficient before the collapse occurs.

    Icon for what could happen ==========================>

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Why wage war ?

      unfunded liabilities (over $154 trillion and currently rising at over $15 million per minute!!),

      Assets owed by the government to the people aren't exactly dangerous... they can change the rules on you when they need to, and the GDP is large enough they can increase taxes a small bit to pay for it. For those liabilities in particular, the US is in better shape than most countries, with high levels of immigration birth rates than Western Europe, the tax base will continue expanding as those liabilities gradually come due, making it easier to pay. For a dire picture, look at Japan.

    2. mevets

      Re: Why wage war ?

      Sure, you can't mine the silicon out of silicon valley; but to think that the collapse of an artificial economic equilibrium is the end times is a bit silly. As in the past, it will be replaced with a new balance, and we will move on. In five generations they will laugh at our concern for the value of bits of paper the same way we laugh at the value of tulip bulbs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That sounds just like what someone building a fleet of autonomous killer robots WOULD say.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Military intelligence

    I can only say from years of supplying various 'friendly' military's that education was always 3/4 of the sales effort - the other 1/4 was usually explaining that the competitors product was only vapourware!

    As you moved down the ranks there was a sweet-spot where SysAdmin equivalents did actually know their jobs, the infrastructure and the reason for the architecture very well.

    Below that 'military intelligence' was again an oxymoron.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    A Taste of Armageddon

    Computers fight wars with no damage to infrastructures...people voluntarily die?

  7. frankvw
    Mushroom

    They do have a point, though

    All the above comments notwithstanding, there is one very real aspect that everyone seems to forget: warfare is 10% fighting and 90% logistics.

    Look at WWII: by wiping out one single ballbearing factory the allied forces set the Reich back further than ten D-days ever could have done. And D-day was a an exercise in logistics. By harming the enemy's logistics (which let's face it, is entirely IT based) one can do more damage with less risk of repercussions, loss of friendly lives and materiel expenditures than with a platoon of high tech droids.

    The same goes for intelligence operations: ensuring proper intelligence and, if at all possible, feeding the enemy misinformation, is vital to any sort of warfare, not only in modern terms but throughout history.

    So yes, there is a point to all this.

    Icon selected for appropriateness.

    1. Death_Ninja

      Re: They do have a point, though

      "Amateurs study tactics. Professionals study logistics."

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: They do have a point, though @frankvw

      Blighty might have got that memo, frankvm, with this dipping of the toe into real deep waters .... https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cyber-innovation-at-the-forefront-of-uks-approach-to-modern-warfare ..... but £22m in the big scheme of such things buys one practically nothing of any great use or future value.

      And some are horrified at the possible effects of the newly recognised, leading theatres of contested field operations. But the future is never at all like the past, and thus is such a change only natural despite status quo concerns ..... Defence chiefs face battle over plan to scrap tanks

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OptionAnonymous

    Thank you, ElReg. That's not to say I'm really scared, rather than being puzzled... alright. I am, but only for a flight of a spark of a lighter.

    Alright, puff.

    Wow, such priority. And speed of reaction, and - oh, th econtent...

  9. Bitsminer

    Extending the lifecyle

    $100M+ contract for "the best infrastructure that will still be around in 50 years."?

    This looks like the chickens have contracted the foxes to design a henhouse good for 50 years. The lifecycle of the foxes is thereby assured.

  10. mevets

    Good strategy...

    You will never see the killer IOT device if you are busy verifying your ip filters. Mercifully the efficacy of the Pentagon makes the Orange Derangement look like a mastermind; so less on this later.

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