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Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence

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The objective of this term paper is to dissect the existing applications of Artificial Intelligence in Military Application, their limitations and scope for future advancements. In this way will be attempt to paint a picture on what militaries of the future would look like, and have an insight on policies regarding ethical and safe usage of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (Machine Intelligence) is a technology which enables the display of intelligence or intellect by computer systems. Artificial Intelligence operates in contrast with Natural Intelligence (NI), which is possessed by humans or animals. Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a machine to achieve objectives that would require human intellect under ordinary circumstances, such as decision making and perception (visual or physical).

From a military perspective, artificial Intelligence as a technology cannot be called a weapon. In fact, it serves as an enabler for the military. An enabler holds a lot of promise and might just bring about a revolutionary change to Modern Warfare. It holds the power to change warfare from its present ‘informatized’ form to an ‘intelligentized’ form.

AI is a promising technology and has seen extensive research on its applications to the battlefield, while still young, experts believe that leadership in AI is essential to maintain or earn global power in the 21st Century. Militaries are attracted to AI due to its ability to increase accuracy and efficiency in everything from payload delivery, to logistics. Improved decision making of systems with AI will substantially reduce operational costs and risks to the lives of the soldiers. Technologies like face and voice recognition would provide invaluable intelligence to security forces and would be a game changer for national security. Most importantly, AI would help optimize the performance of existing military equipment, for example, fighter jets would be able to maneuver better in the absence of a human pilot, will possess a greater range and would be capable of carrying a higher payload.

For nations like the USA, integration of AI systems into its military protocols would allow them to maintain their military superiority, while China, Russia, India may use the same to introduce their own superiority through technological supremacy. Thus AI in will prove to be a formidable force of the future, determining the geopolitical landscape in the years to come.


To better understand AI and its capabilities, it’s important to define and differentiate between automated and autonomous technologies.

Automated systems typically operate on an if-then-else rule structure and for each input there will be the same system output until or unless something malfunctions. Example: Land Mines.

Autonomous systems on the other hand, reason probatistically for a given set of inputs. That is, they work out the best set of possible outcomes for a given set of data inputs. Unlike automated systems, autonomous systems may not give the same output for the same inputs and will tend to produce a range of behaviors.


Computational Military Reasoning: The use of artificial intelligence to understand and solve human-level military problems, and battlefield decisions.

Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (Unmanned): Development and operation of unmanned air, sea and land platforms for applications in warfare.

Intelligence Analysis: Artificial Intelligence systems through their precision and speed may prove effective in analysis of intelligence inputs and thus improve situational awareness.

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