Battlefield demands spark AI race in Ukraine as war with Russia rages on - AITechTrend
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Battlefield demands spark AI race in Ukraine as war with Russia rages on

Battlefield requirements in Ukraine demand AI advancement 

The dynamics of modern warfare have been profoundly altered by the introduction of drones, particularly with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), changing the landscape of military engagement on the front lines. This has been vividly illustrated in numerous instances on both Russian and Western social media platforms, where videos depict soldiers caught in the crosshairs of these relentless machines. The footage often captures the moment a soldier realizes escape is futile against the precision of drone technology. 

 Video link : https://youtu.be/aQnMZrTrmE4?si=U-IwBtGWDXTxGiAN 

According to George Barros, a Russia analyst and leader of the Geospatial Intelligence Team at the Institute for the Study of War, an AI-enabled autonomous weapon arms race is underway in Ukraine, involving both Ukrainian and Russian forces. The race is not about the possibility of implementation but rather the timing of it.  

A Russian soldier was seen surrendering to a Ukrainian drone on May 9 in edited video released by Ukraine’s 92nd Mechanized Brigade. (Ukraine’s 92nd Mechanized Brigade) 

Although there is no concrete evidence indicating that AI has been used for strike capabilities yet, it has been utilized to gather battlefield intelligence and recognize different kinds of enemy weaponry and equipment. At present, drones can be defeated through methods such as disrupting the communication radio frequencies used by remote operators. However, incorporating AI technology could allow drones to be programmed to detect and attack specified targets independently, without requiring input from an operator. 

Methods to counter drones, such as disrupting their communication frequencies, exist. However, AI’s integration could allow drones to autonomously identify and engage targets without operator input, highlighting a significant shift towards more independent combat systems. 

“Ghost,” 24, a soldier with the 58th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Ukrainian Army, catches a drone while testing it so it can be used nearby, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, near Bakhmut, Ukraine, November 25, 2022.  (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

The pace of AI advancements driven by military needs is reportedly much quicker than many in Washington realize, with the conflict in Ukraine acting as a catalyst for technological progress. Drones have made traditional military maneuvers nearly impossible, erasing the element of tactical surprise that has been a cornerstone of military strategy.  

This shift has challenged military theorists to find new solutions for battlefield mobility and concealment, given drones’ ability to compromise these traditional tactics.   

Ukrainian soldiers look for a drone in a trench at their infantry position in the direction of Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on March 10, 2024.  (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images) 

Barros points to the failed Ukrainian counteroffensive in 2023 as a stark example of how drone reconnaissance, combined with artillery and drone strikes, can effectively neutralize enemy forces before they can execute their plans.  

Ukrainian soldiers are seen in a trench at their infantry position in the direction of Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on March 10, 2024.  (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images)

 

This evolution in warfare signifies a departure from established Russian, U.S., and NATO military doctrines, underscoring a fundamental transformation in how conflicts are fought and won. The proliferation of inexpensive drones has made concealment and cover almost unattainable, presenting a “big problem” for current and future military operations.