The unstoppable march of AI: defense industry edition

Machine learning and artificial intelligence decreases humans error and the need for expensive labor, so it's no surprise that by 2025, the AI market is estimated to reach a staggering $190 billion. Also, by that same year, more than 40% digital services will be making use of AI.

But for now, let's have look at what is happening with AI in the defense industry.

While all countries are looking at using AI to optimize their militaries and even to save human soldiers, just USA alone is currently spending around $23 billion of its massive defense budget on making its army intelligent. We are entering an era where the number of soldiers, tanks and aircraft won’t decide who is going to win, but the number of soldiers, tanks and aircraft that are technologically integrated will.

How can AI help the defense industry?

Autonomous robots

If you want unmanned war, you're going to need actual robots. Not traditional robots, but robots capable of dealing with unpredictable and dynamic situations in the same way humans are. Some countries like Israel already highly recommend robots for certain kinds of missions. Integrating AI into robots can fulfill several tasks. For example, for a human, finding a path to reach the enemy in harsh terrain is a very difficult task. The AI robot on the other hand can instantly take into account advanced algorithms and statistical models, as well as hundreds of sensors that reach way beyond our senses.

AI robots can already help detect mines. US troops used AI for these applications in Afghanistan and saved uncountable soldiers' lives.

Predictive analysis

Predictive analysis is analysis to predict the future by applying elaborate methodologies, AI technologies, and infrastructure on masses of data. Basically, it can pick up on patterns way easier than even the smartest humans. In which region are we more likely to see the next attack and in what form? And so on. No surprise then that data gathering and analysis are two major activities of any country's intelligence services.


Traditional surveillance techniques in military applications have higher risks of casualties or errors than anything AI can deliver, and unmanned vehicles like robots and drones to keep an eye on the enemy were the logical pioneering application of artificial intelligence. These high tech unmanned vehicles have AI integrated cameras fitted which easily identify human activity and movement, and differentiating enemies from innocent civilians doing normal things.

AI co-pilots

As AI is becoming more popular, it is also becoming more intelligent. At some point, AI will be able to easily beat the human mind in most fields. Because of their quick decision making capability, AI is already makes its home in military (and other) aircraft, where it guides and takes workload off the pilot.

Cyber security

Just 2014 alone recorded a massive 42.8 million cyber attacks.

Government knows the value of digital infrastructure in a world dependent upon it, and AI is also helping out in our cyber security. In the case of large cyber attacks, humans cannot take quick enough steps, but an AI can. It can also be put to work detecting malware or network vulnerabilities, and even fix them.

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