U.S. Implements AI in Airstrikes: Military Accepts Technology for Target Identification

See how the United States military uses artificial intelligence in combat, such as using computer vision algorithms to choose targets for airstrikes. Expert insights and concerns offered by AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio.


As ChatGPT gained popularity in 2022, promoting renewed interest in AI, its potential applications in various industries were investigated worldwide. Notably, experts discussed the possibility of integrating AI into military operations. Recent reports indicate that the United States military has begun to use artificial intelligence in combat situations.

According to Bloomberg, the United States used artificial intelligence to identify targets for airstrikes in the Middle East earlier this month, verified by a defence official.

The Pentagon reportedly employs computer vision algorithms to recognize targets for airstrikes. In a mission dated February 2 in the Middle East, more than 85 airstrikes were executed with the assistance of these AI algorithms. The targets included rockets, missiles, drone storage, and militia operations centres in Iraq and Syria.

Also Read: What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Basics, Differences and Key Features

Schuyler Moore, the Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Central Command, revealed the use of computer vision in identifying potential threats. Computer vision involves training algorithms to visually recognize specific objects. The algorithms utilized in these airstrikes were developed as part of Project Maven, a program initiated in 2017 to enhance automation in the Department of Defense.

This deployment of AI for target identification aligns with a trend observed in other countries. In December 2023, Israel garnered attention for a program named “The Gospel,” using AI software to recommend bombing targets in Gaza through extensive data analysis. The program suggests up to 200 targets in just 10-12 days, encompassing weapons, vehicles, or even live individuals.

It’s essential to note that Israel emphasized that AI’s targeting is an initial phase, with human analysts involved in a more comprehensive review process.

Also Read: OpenAI Announced Sora: The Game Changing Text-to-Video AI Model

Insights from the Godfather of AI on Tech in Military Operations:

In the past year, Canadian computer scientist Yoshua Bengio, recognized as one of the pioneers of AI, expressed concerns about the potential misuse of artificial intelligence technology in military applications. Speaking to the BBC, Bengio highlighted worries about the rapid advancement of AI and the risk of ‘bad actors’ gaining access to increasingly sophisticated and powerful AI systems.

Bengio emphasized the potential danger if AI systems surpass human intelligence, making it challenging to control or prevent their detrimental actions. His concerns had also taken a toll on his mental well-being, prompting uncertainty about the direction of his life’s work. Despite feeling lost, Bengio stressed the importance of ongoing discussions and collective thought to address the challenges posed by AI development.

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