THE PENTAGON’S NEW(?) AI PREDICTION CAPABILITY
You may not have heard of it, but the U.S. Pentagram...er... Pentagon recently held its third GIDE, or "Global Information Dominance Experiment" according to the following article that many (and I mean, many) regular readers here spotted. After reading it, I can see why so many passed it along and shared it (and thank you to all of you who did so):
Here's what the Pentagram is up to:
U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) recently conducted a series of tests known as the Global Information Dominance Experiments, or GIDE, which combined global sensor networks, artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and cloud computing resources in an attempt to "achieve information dominance" and "decision-making superiority." According to NORTHCOM leadership, the AI and machine learning tools tested in the experiments could someday offer the Pentagon a robust “ability to see days in advance," meaning it could predict the future with some reliability based on evaluating patterns, anomalies, and trends in massive data sets. While the concept sounds like something out of Minority Report, the commander of NORTHCOM says this capability is already enabled by tools readily available to the Pentagon.
VanHerck told reporters that this AI-enabled decision making could actually allow for a type of proactive forecasting that sounds truly like the stuff of science fiction:
"[W]hat we've seen is the ability to get way further what I call left, left of being reactive to actually being proactive. And I'm talking not minutes and hours, I'm talking days."
To do this, the experiment used artificial intelligence tools to perform real-time analysis of data gathered by a network of sensors across the globe including “commercially available information” from unnamed partners. That information, VanHerck says, could be shared via cloud-based systems to allies and other partners in real-time, should NORTHCOM decide to. The tests also included support from the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and Project Maven, a DOD project that leverages AI to sift through massive amounts of persistent surveillance imagery and rapidly identify useful information.
As the reader might expect, I have a number of high octane speculations to advance. Firstly, whenever any military - particularly the American - comes out and says "Oh we're developing this new capability," my default position is "they're lying; they've had it for some time." So what's the purpose of the article?
That question brings me to my second speculation: they're sending a message, and the message, I suspect, has to deal with what General VanHerck was quoted as saying in the article: "What we've see is the ability to get way further what I call left, left of being reactive to actually being proactive. And I'm not talking minutes and hours, I'm talking days." A few days' predictive lead time in the accurate prediction of an opponents' potential military operations is needless to say, quite an achievement, and there's not a general or admiral alive that would turn his back on such a capability if it existed.
But all these considerations bring me to the next few high octane speculations, all of them having to do with the US military's Achilles' heal: its reliance on high tech, digital information dominance. In doing so, it's creating choke points, vulnerabilities where the very claimed dominance or new "tool" could be turned against the entire system to potentially catastrophic result. The article itself stresses the system's reliance on "the cloud" and a "network of sensors across the globe including 'commercially available information' from unnamed partners," and we know both China and Russia have sophisticated anti-satellite capabilities.
Nor need this system be subject to "hard" attack. Indeed, I rather suspect that its key vulnerability is in that area where it claims dominance: the data itself. Any predictive algorithm is only as good as the data that feeds it, and it would be a simple matter for "hacking powers" like Russia or China to insert just enough faulty or skewed data to throw off a predictive algorithm. In fact, it would be a relatively simple matter for them to observe such GIDE experiments, and to insert such data to see how the US military responds (and vice versa!). One thinks here of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and the appearance of something - or rather, someone - that the grand predictive algorithms of "psychohistory" did not predict: the character known as The Mule. The Mule was a one-off, a bit of "data" that was unpredictable, and that nearly upset the algorithmic predictions of psychohistory completely. Lesson: all it takes to upset predictive algorithms is one piece of data, carefully placed....
...oh, and did I mention, the Mule was "psychic"? ...and did I mention that one of the strange things about the US military's remote viewing program was the ability of some of those remote viewers to manipulate machines? One wonders if they ever experimented with remote viewers who were able to insert or alter the data stored in them...
Failing such Mule-like powers, there is still the hacker, and the anti-satellite rocket.
See you on the flip side...
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