One of these days a tourist visiting the Holy Land will probably get popped in between the eyes by a designated Israeli Defense Forces shooter. News of a new AI technology the Israelis are working on, it echoes of the "Terminator" films. Very soon Israeli citizens will be living inside a prison of killing technology.
The Israel Ministry of Defense is adopting a networked sensor-to-shooter system known as Fire Weaver, according to news from C4ISR. According to the report, the Israelis will pair infantry weapon-centric AI and display with its F-35s and UAV capabilities, in order to "digitalize" the urban battlefield. The makers of the technology say Fire Weaver will make situations in densely populated areas safer, but sane people must surely have doubts.
Now get this, Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems recently partnered with French company Atos Information Technology to create for Germany a so-called "glass battlefield" where:
"Interconnected platforms, sensor information moving in a ‘tactical internet of things,' advanced and immune communications as a basis to allow seamless connectivity between UAS, vehicles, and soldiers on the ground."
What could go wrong, right? I can think of many horrific scenarios. For one, cyberwarriors from Langley hacking the systems may soon be able to assassinate you from above, below, across the street, or half a world away in some fish market in Bangkok.
And what about the latest in German thinking? Since when did Angela Merkel's Utopia start envisioning using drone swarms controlled by AI to support combat vehicles and future battle tanks? And Vladimir Putin is crazy for building unstoppable killer nukes? Right. No wonder.
The world peace Miss USA beauty pageant contestants used to pray for, it seems to get farther and farther away. And more expensive. Nations spend enough money today to cure all hunger in a few months. With those trillions America alone spends, whole families of diseases could surely be cured. And what makes this "Terminator" battlefield lunacy even crazier, is how so-called terrorists in pickup trucks in the desert can defeat every army. Now Tel-Aviv is going to set up next-generation digital killing machines. There's the "peace" for you. Trump presents a peace plan to the Palestinians with nothing in their favor, then Jerusalem comes up with Phase II of annexation. Fire Weaver, which I guess will end up being fully automated with killer robots, drones, spy satellites, and smart killer viruses. Good God. We really are doomed.
No longer will the TSA need to do cavity searches for explosives in airports, new Terminator micro technologies will sting would-be plane highjackers to death in an instant. And while they are onboard the all-new glass airplanes flying from glass airports, carrying glass people to glass destinations all over the world. What, you think I am hysterical? Think again. A tactical Internet of Military Things (IoMT) ? Where does this end ?
Just because the concept of IoMT is largely driven by the idea that future military battles will be dominated by machine intelligence and cyber warfare in urban environments, does not mean the network will not be used in other situations. Think of it, the U.S. Army's current operational outline for 2020 to 2040, titled "Winning in a Complex World," will surely have counterintelligence and civilian peacekeeping capabilities. Soon the local police will be wired into the system, and who do you think will be in charge? The end result will not be safer, it will be a horrific future world where innocent people accidentally get snuffed. It won't end with the new German Reich and swarms of Luftwaffe drones, it will end the way all Sci-Fi epics start. We'll be helpless in a world totally controlled by real and perceived force. And feasible deniability and computer glitches will take the place of accountability.
"Oh, we are so sorry, a glitch in the Fire Weaver AI was the cause of those innocent Palestinian protesters being blown to pieces. But we are working on it."
Yeah, right. Safer for who ?
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he's an author of the recent bestseller "Putin's Praetorians" and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook."