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The science fiction genre has long hinted at future warfare that will be aided or maybe even guided by artificial intelligence (AI). However, that future always appeared distant and the use of such technology was likely to counter attacks. In a new development, the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) has confirmed that it is using artificial intelligence to predict attacks, “days in advance”.  

Technological advancements in military applications are largely aimed at reducing the risk to human life and carrying out operations from a safe distance. Whether it be drone swarms or AI support for fighter pilots, the aim is to reduce collateral damage while improving attack options. In a recent press briefing, the NORTHCOM commander General Glen D. VanHerck confirmed that the US Military has conducted the third test in the series of Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE).

The first GIDE test was performed in December of 2020 with the involvement of a few combatant commands to prototype AI-enabled early warning alerts of peer-level threat movements. 

Later in March 2021, the GIDE-2 was conducted with all 11 US combatant commands and used AI and machine learning to use the information to respond to real-life scenarios. NORTHCOM had also tested three decision aids, called Cosmos, Lattice, and Gaia, during this series to improve deterrence capabilities and increase decision space. 

The third test in the series, GIDE 3 concluded recently and also included data from globally deployed sensors, some of which are commercial in origin, stated General VanHerck. He also clarified that, unlike other US programs looking to deploy artificial intelligence, the GIDE program did not create new capabilities to get its data, rather used the existing information satellites, radar, undersea capabilities, cyber, and intel capabilities. The program shared all this information in a cloud where machine learning and artificial intelligence processed and provided critical information to decision-makers almost in real-time.  

Calling it “decision superiority”, VanHerck added that these advanced warning systems would provide the military and civilian leadership with “days of decision space” since the decision-making is proactive and not reactive.

While the experiment was conducted with the US commands, the system is also designed to integrate and disseminate information to allies and partners. Canada and the US work collaboratively in the North Warning System and the US is working with its partners during the GIDE runs. 

While staying away from calling out names, either of partners or adversaries, General VanHerck said that the GIDE would help against two nuclear-armed countries, challenging the U.S. every day, and is ready for the validation as early as 2022, Engadget reported.  

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