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AI in Warfare

Written by Bisma Ali 7:13 pm Opinion, Published Content

AI in Modern Warfare: A Glimpse into the Future of Conflict

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly utilized in warfare, influencing strategic decisions, military systems, and even propaganda. In Sudan’s civil war, AI-powered voice cloning impersonated the former president, altering public perception. The Russia-Ukraine conflict witnessed AI advancements in target recognition, data analysis, and drone usage. Israel’s “Fire Factory,” an AI system, aids in targeting and conducting bombings. In light of this, Bisma Ali, contemplated the future of warfare and how AI would completely change war as we know it.
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About the Author(s)
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Bisma Ali is an A-level student at LGS, Lahore. She is interested in artificial intelligence and other related fields.

Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in warfare at a rapid pace. It can be employed in strategic decision-making and military systems. It is also an important tool to initiate propaganda and deception, which have always been integral to warfare. This can bring a new modulation to Clausewitz’s theory of war. AI-regulated “principles of war” can be created to lead one’s adversaries into confusion. 

For example, the fog of war is composed of uncertainty about situations and events during a war. This situation can be compounded by an AI-depicted physical and psychological environment, leading to a simple or complex awareness for the opposition’s ground commanders.

AI in Sudan’s Civil War

Recently, an AI-powered voice cloning technology emerged in the Sudan conflict. It was used to impersonate Omar al-Bashir, the former president of Sudan. This got a lot of traction on social media platforms. Anonymous accounts posted leaked recordings to spread the message. The recordings posted on the channel “Voice of Sudan” appeared to be a mixture of old clips from press conferences during coup attempts, news reports, and voice messages. These were attributed to the former president.

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The cloned conversation gave the impression that Omar al-Bashir had vehemently opposed the Sudanese military before the coup. This created a change in the public’s perception of his support. The creation of an AI-modulated fog of war no longer hinges on traditional actors distorting reality. Now, even a person with average technical expertise can use such tactics to change public or military perceptions and thus create the intended confusion.

AI and the Russia-Ukraine War

The warfare in Ukraine has seen AI advancement, especially in the recognition of targets and objects through satellite imagery. The open-source data is analyzed through AI tools to determine the locations of military movements, weapon placement, and causalities suffered by both armies. The Russian Ministry of Defense is also looking to AI firms to provide them with assistance in data analysis and decision-making during the ongoing conflict. The drones have also been used excessively to target tanks and other military targets in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Israel’s Fire Factory

The recent clash between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has also been tampered with by AI interventions. As the Hamas-Israel conflict was developing, the Israeli military used AI-backed technology to mark out strategic locations to be bombarded by drones. Hamas too used explosives carried by drones to destroy Israel’s observation posts on the Gaza border. An AI system codenamed “Fire Factory” has been used by the Israeli Defense Forces to locate targets and conduct bombings, coupled with a quick retaliatory ground assault. Fire Factory “uses data about military-approved targets to calculate munitions loads, prioritize and assign thousands of targets to aircraft and drones and propose a schedule.”

The Future of War

Given this thrust and dependence on technology, the battlefield is going to be saturated by AI-driven technologies in the coming years. Drones are going to be used for intelligence detection and calculation. Based on such information, a whole gamut of military operations may be launched with the active support of the ground troops. This may result in the exact calculation of military force per the measurement of the fog of war components.

Each member of a military contingent may be fixed with a GPS chip so that his or her movement can be traced through drones. Once the military installations and their locations are fed into the drones, they can easily be targeted and destroyed. The concept of an AI-modulated trinity of war may become a reality in the near future. The AI can encapsulate the aspirations of people calculated from different social media platforms. The military commanders on the ground get precise pictures unfolding before them with a minimum fog of war or vice versa.

The government also receives AI-based options for each situation, which helps it decide between public-centric and reality-based approaches. Moreover, AI may be conveniently adopted to change public opinion in favor of or against an issue, particularly during warfare. This gives a range of options to military strategists and decision-makers. A stage may be reached in the future when AI is used extensively in security. Every chance or probability in war may be reduced to certainty.

A military force might prove to its adversary that it knows the enemy’s exact capability, making it impossible for the latter to put up any surprises. This would, hence, leave the enemy with no other option except submission. This may give a new meaning to the phrase victory without war.


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The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.

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