LMTF Podcast Episode 14: Military Technology


PhD candidate BF Schuman joins the regular panelists to discuss possible developments in the future of warfare and their effects, from artificial intelligence to robotics. Recorded 17 September 2017.

Attending: Parni, Hos, Michael O, Michael C, guest: BFS

BF Schuman is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, where he works on the history of logic, and on contemporary philosophy of language. He also teaches and translates Latin. In his spare time, he reads about medieval and ancient strategy and just-war theory. He is a pacifist.

This episode’s teaser from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964):


Relevant links:





AI – removes consent; automation; robot mules; lasers; air power; population size; space-based lasers; railgun; cryptography; surveillance

ISIS live tweeting battles

Littoral combat ship, takes 10% of the usual crew

defensive vs offensive

technology helping us to determine the actual cost

line of sight in outer space


Strike your enemy’s counterforce capability

Nuclear ->

Air power -> the bomber will always get through

  1. state power or people power?


  1. uavs?


  1. do we think any military technology will become obsolete?

-> infantry

-> navy

-> air force


propaganda?  surprising to me.  russian, north korea

  1. state vs people, foreign powers


democratization of people’s ability to use force:

Parni: not as democratic


Michael O: hesitatant to deploy military tactics because of morale

Daniel: tactical offense is strategic defense

BF: yes a lot more of this

North Korea nuclear strike capability

Michael O: Machine power that will also be able to collect data on the environment, allowed to make decisions.  adaptive machine gun.  more and more

Episode Machine Transcript (unedited and uncorrected)

Let’s make the future.

The whole idea of the rest of the tenants is the art of producing in the mind of.

The here to attack.

Because of the ultimate.

Decision making process it’s about human meddling but the one state machine is terrifying.

To understand one completely credible and convincing Gee I wish we had one and Tuesday machine.

Will come to let’s make the future a discussion about future trends technologies and their implications for human society we are coming to you from all over the world featuring the voices of MICHAEL CAREY Zane Cumani Danielle balance Wale Michael.

And Pontiac American music and editing Christian Pelton this episode’s discussion topic military technology with go as far as.

Brought to you by.


So boys thank you so much for coming today and for pretty OK and thank you everyone else as well today’s topic is future military technologies I look forward to an hour discussing some interesting technologies and their implications for military strategy military outcomes and for the world so I’m Michael Carey I am a software developer and entrepreneur and I’ve been based out of Southeast Asia for the last couple of years but I’m currently on business in my home country of Canada.

Hosting. I viewed it as hostile. To student and Michigan State University making my medical errors and hopefully one more advantage to be called like cyber technologies.

I am currently base in Munich I’m with I’m a Titian and social impact enthusiasts and I were currently on industrial Internet of Things and how that relates to working labor in Germany money might follow a lot of well and.

I think you could add my muscle building vastly and currently walking us into I know and love Asian Boas your Our last but not least here well in fact in some respects I think I am least on such a star studded panel My name is human Ph D. student I work on the history of logic mostly fourteenth century and kind of correspondences with the twentieth but I take a great interest in strategy and specifically air power in that I think my quote invited me here so nice to meet you and thanks for doing this Michael Great thank you all for participating so it seems like the history of military technology stretching back thousands of years has been one of innovation leading to changed military outcomes so from the English long bow changing the course of the wars between England and France to nuclear warfare or the threat of nuclear warfare changing the power dynamics and the possibility of warfare between America and the Soviet Union we’ve seen how technology is the decisive factor in warfare not necessarily a size of an economy or the power of a politician’s rhetoric such technology seems to be by far the decisive factor in most conflicts that’s I guess my contention right now and so what I’d be interested in discussing is maybe first that concept do we think that that’s true and then second we could just go over kind of a laundry list of potential future technology. And how we think that might change the power balance of the world because I think it’s through the lens of technology that we will be able to get a powerful insight into the state of the future politics in the world in a way that might lead us to be more prescient than other people and the average person in the world today can I jump right on that Michael and just add something you said that technology is one part and to political rhetoric and you have to sort of put me if and I agree with that I would add to that the one that you have that which is population this is something that interests me a great deal because I have some of these technologies especially unmanned as they call them more automated technologies become more and more widely available that might also itself even out Lockheed Martin for instance is making this what is it the Littoral Combat Ship looks well it’s in short I’m not literal that takes something like ten percent of the usual crew required to run it if memory serves and that’s a great leap because then you can deploy more but of course the technology becomes widely available and people just have a larger population than to just going to start even ing out that’s a great point does anyone else have any opening thoughts about this because population Yeah I guess not as much of a factor as it might once have been all right so maybe it’s worth thinking about the history of military engagements can anyone reach into their memory and think about their understanding of past conflicts and how technology might have been a decisive factor in a particular engagement I don’t want to keep you know taking the bait every time a yeah OK So you mentioned the English long which was adopted from the well it was used with considerable success I think against the Scottish and I said I how cable terminus are used against the French which had the advantage of that had range considerable range so it was able to compete with crossbows in terms of rank but it was also able to be reloaded much more quickly than across and so basically the engagement was possible at a bus greater distance than the French were capable of keeping up with and I think this was decisive in naval battles in the Hundred Years War and fast forward to the twentieth century you mention nuclear warfare and in a certain sense there’s something of a. Similarity between the two at least and as much as you know the strike your enemies sort of without them even being able to get together retaliation but I would walk back a bit of optimism about nuclear armaments at least one reason I’m under the rhetoric about mutually assured destruction that we see now is very similar and sort of the kind that came out at the very beginning of the twentieth century when air power became a thing so there are all these very optimistic and very enthusiastic interests of air power who wrote this will be the end of war because we’ll be able to dislike over them and devastate their city devastate their industry and so forth what will become impossible merely awful because we saw a lot of devastation of war too but we didn’t see people treating it as though it was impossible it just was a level of devastation we hadn’t seen before but boys play interrupt you there because I think the key to preventing warfare through mutually assured destruction I believe the military theory on this is that if it is impossible to destroy the enemy’s counterforce capability that is their ability to strike back after a first strike if you can’t be assured of getting every single military installation in the first strike then it is a very stable military situation because neither side has the incentive to strike first whereas if there is the possibility that you could destroy their entire counterforce capability and that you could just as you say lay waste to their defenses in one fell swoop then there is a strong incentive to strike first and then warfare becomes extremely likely so I would argue that were you saying at the beginning then with the airpower was this already where they are saying the bomber will always get through and then you know you can’t really stop the counter force and therefore Or would stop or were you basically saying instead they’re just going to destroy the enemy and then America will reign supreme or something no I actually need a lot of not American writing on this at all I think that the telling in an English spirit I’m not sure whether they actually use the word bomb or I have to go back and look it up but I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes it seems like that’s what you say. Like OK it will be so destructive it will eliminate any counterstrike part about it but on the other hand sometimes I just stand by that statement and clear power so much what their power lies will be so devastating that no one would ever do it and that to me is a bit of a worry I understand that the conventional thinking on this is that Mutually Assured Destruction prevents anything like that but even the risk of accidents of course as shown that to be a bit sanguine that’s what I want when any case that I might point merely is that I’m not sure whether we’re talking about a qualitatively different kind of destruction or whether we’re just talking about a quantitative leap that we think you know because that’s something that’s been said before and it didn’t work out all right I want to jump in here and wonder what you think about what the Council on will take effectiveness on warfare campaign over the course of history by additional regarding the light and on the cost of war is very on that to make it and given technology that you have the human toll on the main cantle.

You have because bleach or light and that you know how to cook a lot just the kind of that and one that he has all we have looking to see going to be so much and so saying OK.

To get to you know I this would cost you and if able to do that how would that you know the turning point to go will power she go and launch something Michael can you just clarify so what you’re saying is the implications of being able to deploy I think I might have missed what you were saying and terms of deploying or were you saying I was saying that one of the old technology played a teacher in terms of helping out to the economy the actual cost if I think campaign and also minimizing both the mind turn told because what’s been happening over time and why more gold mines are not less willing to go to war because you really cannot explain how much they think and if you can see how long it will take you know what wait on that. You know Danny and from a story call. Yeah it seems to me like the surveillance or intelligence technology that gives you information about the enemy’s capabilities and therefore might lead to make a better understanding of how long a campaign might take place with respect to that kind of technology I’ve having watched the movie about how interning at during World War two game exactly during World War two and then just reading about Bletchley Park and their work there it seems like although of course this wasn’t discussed in the years following World War two the fact that the British had insight into Nazi troop movements in spring I guess naval positions and that they never revealed the fact that they knew this to the Nazis was a decisive advantage in being able to position their ships properly and avoid attacks and so it does seem like having an informational advantage over your enemy is a very very powerful technology that So in a way the geeks at Bletchley Park were able to win the war in a sense that the soldiers were not able to achieve in the form of a decisive advantage Well I mean you wouldn’t have one without the other I wouldn’t downplay the role that the soldiers played as well Bletchley Park would have been very easily overrun and part of their situational awareness if they haven’t had a hard exterior protecting them but your point is well taken fair enough Yeah it’s a good point and it does seem like in the future we’re going to have of course there’s more and more information that’s being generated by society the internet etc and our society is more and more dependent on information technology to give us food to give us everything that we do on a daily basis our power infrastructure our you know everything when it’s all dependent on very very complicated information infrastructure that means that we’re vulnerable to a cyber attack in a way that we perhaps weren’t in the past so I’m not sure how that affects military dynamics but yeah certainly there and I follow up with that and also add that the way that the information is shared seems to be and this is not my By the way the. People who can speak on it here in this panel much more authoritatively than I can but I’m interested also in the way that information is so much more diffuse now thanks to the internet so I was really impressed to see the way that Twitter was used by some of these militant groups in the Middle East who are live tweeting battles and things and directing and coordinating their efforts in that way so I guess if you just have had when you pick whatever your hash tag is the battle for the two that are going on and then you can coordinate amongst yourselves who’s going where and who is where and so forth I feel like I was taught a great deal of the extent of Twitter I think we all learned a great deal about how much more Twitter can be used for then I ever would have appreciated or My point is it’s not just state actors that are able to do this it’s also very loosely allied or I don’t know what the technical term is imagine I guess yeah not professional military Well let me ask the rest of the panel here what they think of actually before we do that let’s just say hello to Parnia who’s joined us hello Carney there hello hello nice to talk to you Oh I so we have a guest today printing we have for us for Issue men who is a philosophy Ph D. student and we’re talking about military technologies and voices just raised the point that some of these technologies specifically information technologies like Twitter are making it possible for even the general population or for no one state actors at least to after that really yeah yeah to coordinate there I would say non-state actors OK Ephron And so what I think maybe that leads us into is a question about whether we think future technology is going to lead to a consolidation of the power of the state or whether it will lead to the undermining of the power of the state because we can see various technologies leading one way or the other and so maybe people have some thoughts about that state you’re asking just to understand the question if the military technology is with on their money and power in states was your question exactly can you elaborate why. You mean by that I mean you mentioning terrorist groups or I could be terrorist groups that are undermining the power of the state but it could also be a state becomes less relevant in our lives because we’re able to defend ourselves you know just regular people are able to defend themselves and protect their interests without the involvement of the state for example cryptography might make it possible for and then communication without snooping by the N.S.A. You could also have other technologies that make it possible to I suppose like three D. printed guns that sort of technology that makes it possible to always the able to defend yourself even if the state doesn’t want you to on the other hand artificial intelligence and automated robotic soldiers might make it possible for even a dictator with the support of no one in the entire country imagine Bashar al Assad with a million robot soldiers even if the entire country is turned against him and there’s no person in the country that wants him to be president he can stay president with those infinitely loyal soldiers so what technology reigns supreme what will win over will it be the technologies that help people or be the technologies that help states can I just pick up on this Michael I don’t want to you know going to happen I guess I think this is an interesting question and I think it kind of is going to have to be both and I’m not going to come down on one point or another but I will say that at least runway in which state power will be I think undermined somewhat is in what I’m calling you could almost call the democratization of warfare or something that it’s becoming more diffuse so those of us who watch the battle for most who are very well of course if I could with my other commitments it’s very interesting to see.

Unmanned aerial vehicles on pretty much all sides in the conflict and so here’s a case in which a technology that was adopted very quickly by the United States allowed them to attack aircraft that could be shot down without loss of troops which is such a huge disaster that that gave a slight edge but then as I say you know over time other groups started adopting some of those approaches admitted later back to. Very different the first I’ve seen but the U.S. doesn’t for example have something like kamikaze U.A.B. but at least one case in which the advantage sort of caught up with naturally of course they’re much less sophisticated So I think you know already about dictator for instance with a robot army and a good one on the other hand it will depend really on cost I mean look at Palace at their force not only is it in shambles it’s very cold and the planes are much cheaper you know than anything like a much larger state would have a much more weather center to have you pointed at the it’s very difficult to be timely in a technology will when I think that a bit a high rate of that going on you know what would it Apple would combat me be able to kill it on the order and maybe what would eventually be the way nature it would be a strategy which is tried it was still going to call in.

To deploy.

You know what the course of the future so I think the I don’t may perhaps power would not returning to when you know a walkway looking at what happened in Syria for example you might think of if people get more power as individuals that might rise against the state and get lower power but I guess the Syria situation show that once that happens it’s the borders are set and then foreign countries would immediately interfere and try to take advantage so in case of a conflict between this state and Syrian individuals what happens that he said has always shown that fight is not going to be focused only between the people on one of them wins or something happens immediately foreign powers would interfere and situation gets really complicated and becomes entangled as we can see in Syria I partly agree so I think what you were saying earlier Michael about this military theory when you talk about one versus an enemy I think that’s something and not related to Hans and that’s something that I have been it’s something. In theory I create but I think today I’m like a much more complex where it will like everybody is kind of partnered like every country has partners in other countries and other countries would interfere in such a case I think that makes all the theory much harder and I think so this brings me now to like the Democrat his Asian descent too late zation that you boss’ were saying earlier I think that’s also again you can view that in light of like the phenomenon that comes through the Internet where like basically everybody can connect to everybody everybody can form groups great or like impactful things in the real word can happen out of this but of course with like military technologies for example or like with all kinds of aggressions or conflicts this can have much more dangerous implications in this context and then also again what I was saying earlier the kind of stable consolation with countries you know like countries watching other countries and all countries having kind of military technologies making everything kind of stable this again becomes more unstable in this view of democratization So I think that’s an issue that’s how I understand it I also think that you sometimes issue AFAIK to.

Be a person and it’s going to be in and the reason is because I make right now I think you’re handing money and create gone by and if you think nowadays leg limited to a few people like the master and action and by Russia and U.S. and in their countries and a kind of person in the same area for example to you thinking guy and you still need to have Judy manger and having a tree winter is much.

Accessible for lots of people everybody can add their own guns in. That is not meant to be something we didn’t think it’s a myth and I take that and you also I guess is actually anywhere is much more sophisticated and is going to.

Only serve you that or lots of people and they are saying and I guess a glass of countries as we see in. Two and.

Two may not be unless technology X. rays I am and I something else that’s why I’m going it’s going to affect the tactics for sure and different tactics are certainly emerging but I just want to say in response that I come at you say that the democratization and as we called it or the diffusion say of people how do you use force is increased by technology and there was a suggestion that it would lead to more instability and I think that’s perfectly correct so I agree one hundred percent with that and I hope I didn’t sound too optimistic in reality I’m very pessimistic about right and it does seem like the idea of the Arab Spring and other kinds of people power movements have been the idea there was that people would be able to stand up to the state and they would be able to express their political will through these new technologies through information technologies etc but it does seem like it’s been met with disappointment and instead it’s been co-opted by the most extreme elements and possibly even foreign state actors and hasn’t led to the optimistic outcomes that maybe it sounded like we were thinking might happen instead it looks like we’re all agreeing that that’s probably not actually the reality that I think the distinction has been ordered here by the way we should be talking Be careful to distinguish insurgency versus conventional whatever you want to call it head to head warfare between larger powers of the star you see in the Gulf War And so I think when we’re talking about this we should be clear maybe on I’m saying myself included we should be clear on whether we’re talking about insurgencies becoming more powerful or whether we’re talking about insurgent groups being able to make government head to head in sort of semi insurgent semi conventional ways because certainly insurgencies are always as was just suggested science and suicide bombing and sort of you know it’s going to find novel tactics to make up for some of the symmetry right so let me take the conversation in a slightly different direction inspired by what you’re saying there BF because the history as I alluded to at the very beginning of our conversation history of military strategy is dictated by the balance of. Between defensive an offensive technologies so in World War one we had very very powerful defensive technology available for the first time we had machine guns so one soldier at the top of the hill could defend that hill against a hundred maybe I’m exaggerating slightly but against you know many of you know just Walter’s right and no exaggeration there you go so you ended up with trench warfare it was a stalemate because the defensive power was so much higher than the often supplier but then quickly tanks were developed more powerful artillery was developed so in the interwar years technology changed and you ended up in World War two with probably maybe what we would say is a relatively balanced situation where both often seven defensive military technologies were balanced somewhat and then you had a real fight and so after World War two we had again a switch back to defensive technology in the form of counterforce nuclear capabilities making it impossible to have a conflict between the two major powers in the world and now we’re seeing a lot of asymmetric warfare because of what I perceive as too much power on the often sit side so even if you have billions and billions of dollars like the American military has you still can’t defend against you know Osama bin Laden’s team running up a dinghy against your boat and blowing itself up and then now we’re seeing with us and drones a similar situation where any yahoo can fly this thing over the White House and potentially cause a problem so I’m wondering what we think about often subversives defensive Do we think that in the future the defensive technologies will catch up or how will the balance of power between defensive and offensive technologies play out in the next few years I’m going to insist that either out of the starting gate there Michael on another distinction men maybe we’ll have time to save a bit of time to be like the parity of the clock for everything to thank you but I think when we’re talking about this we’ve got to make clear whether we’re talking about tactical often or strategic offensive I like my defense because they’re sending a stripper and then again it’s hard. It’s tactical very important but it’s a different kind of defense and defending a country’s borders on the other hand has been that is very well known as quickly as maybe they should have learned there’s a very big difference between tactical bombing in a theater you know or in the field like we need to take advantage to stop them from coming here and then strategic bombing and the said that the Americans are much more capable of doing or you go deep into enemy territory and on the offensive you on their factories so those are I’ll say they’re too defensive and too often at least if you’re serving at a serious your space or sorry but we’ll leave that out OK we’ll try to take that into account it’s a great point so any thoughts Christ any predictions defensive versus off as offensive strategy is can always be a good way of also defensive just like you see a lot of countries that by being offensive I guess you’re one step ahead before you start to get defensive So it’s one way it’s kind of like coming from a stronger standpoint when I joined our fencing situation we’re at the same time you might expose some weak points when you’re in the offensive situation so it’s kind of hard to predict I guess and both are going to work together and depending on the pilots it was fair I think with all with and I don’t think there’s such a thing to credit that the world would turn into a more defensive situation or offensive I think I agree with the last point about something that likely speaking we will continue to see a rise in the made in limited technology because of man you know you are not sure all of the probably feel real any and you want to continue to build up more maybe I’m just in case there’s a need to walk there however I think that going to if you don’t government will be also be there we have to deploy I believe the tactic to resolve the whole issue in defeat because I don’t see what kill the warfare could become and.

In my feeling it would probably be more investments made into a fence just because I think that for example if. I use the terms you just introduced boss correctly that a tactical offense also serves as a strategic defense yet particularly in such a like deeply connected world connected I mean now not through information technology but more through partnerships so I guess yeah I would definitely reduce the probability for somebody to attack in the first place so I think that’s kind of the defense on the one side because of the potential later counterattack from whatever party what do you think yeah OK So I think let me paint in broad strokes and you can tell me if this makes sense because Michael you want to speculate on the future so I’m not going to so this is exactly my study view but here goes so I think that we’re going to see a lot more tactical our fence and strategic defense especially on the part of state actors who want to sort of speak join the nuclear club I know that American has been I think quite hysterical and to talk about you know the capacity of North Korean dictatorship to strike say California but as far as I’ve been able to see in a proper literature I read on this it seems as though this is not being pursued as an offensive capacity but as a defensive one to prevent the American meddling in North Korean affairs and other one person meddling in October first I understand what I think diminish the role of the United States by battling U.S. allies in the region you know flying over definitely our space and support so that things to me to be a bit actually more on the defensive side when I was seeing a lot more on the off and to side what I would call tactically although To what extent terrorism a strike could attack that strategic aims is something I am not really sure I’ve made my mind up on Certainly it has fifty to games and has attained those strategic aims very often but I think what we’ll end up seeing then is perhaps still the actors are unable to confront each other directly precisely because of the defensive deterrent who will resort to non conventional meaning this is one possibility putting this out as a possibility not as liked by prediction anyone else with a prediction I think part of a production much I just.

Thank you yeah fair enough can’t pay anyone down. In here yeah OK I have a prediction on what Michael O. said there because Michael you were pointing out that states may become even more hesitant to deploy military tactics the kind of tactics that they might have deployed in say World War two involving thousands of soldiers dying are just not possible today like even contemplating Churchill’s goal a plea campaign in World War one where no one you know thousands upon thousands upon thousands of N Zach and other country as soldiers dying just to get a foothold on a strategic Peninsula where there is no way that would take place today and I think in the future even individual soldiers you know they’re biographies of you know blazoned on cable news I think it’ll be very difficult for human lives to be put at risk in these asymmetric situations which is going to empower the non-state actors unless we develop really capable robotic soldiers because I think once we have really capable robotic soldiers I think then the power will swing back to the defensive again and basically combined with miniature drones that can perhaps tag or take out individual terrorists I think that it’s quite possible that for example let’s talk about the Sri Lanka conflict just very briefly the temple Tigers were a group that were fighting for independence in Sri Lanka for decades and there were some number of thousands of Tamil Tigers Now imagine if the Sri Lankan government had access to miniature drones they could fly into the terrorists’ houses and figure out who is who using facial recognition and then just infect them all with a virus that’s time to you know act at the same moment right and then you know the state actor with this capability would be able to completely destroy every Tamil Tiger at the same moment in time I feel like that technology again combined with robot soldiers will mean that defensive capabilities will be the most powerful in the future that’s my prediction are you also predicting that longer will not be greater than your convention that you go well this is all black ops stuff of course I don’t think the C.. I would be hesitant to do this especially if they’re all terrorists or you don’t think the CIA would do this with al Qaeda I don’t know but the reason I said that is not just to give you a hard time I’m saying right extend well laws change to accommodate you think well I don’t have an answer that question but it’s worth considering Yeah great point any other our predictions guys or should we move on to the next tech question all right one question I have for you is if we think that any particular military technology will become obsolete so we right now we have infantry we have the Navy we have submarines we have ballistic missiles we have an air force with piloted planes or any of these technologies which by the way most of the world’s militaries are still spending billions of dollars on and acquiring a hardware that’s intended to last for twenty thirty forty fifty years are any of these technologies going to become obsolete in the next few years Anyone care to venture a prediction Well these you want to go with of course is piloted aircraft and I would add that it ships probably to that with the not to say that there won’t be people on these ships but I think we’ll see less and less of that I wonder whether the technology that being put into unmanned ships and the technology that’s being put into unmanned planes they’re still working on this but you know they been taking off U.A.B. that can land themselves on carriers completely automatically if you follow that progression through then you’ll see perhaps a fully automated mostly automated aircraft carrier could be a tough carrier I’m taking it because I don’t think it’s going anywhere by the American Arctic and so that’s I mean it’s not going to be disappear in form but might suddenly very different Can I challenge you on that particular piece of power projection you know well with rail guns with stealth submarines is it possible that any surface ships will become obsolete because it’ll just be too easy to take them out right I think what we’ve seen since you know like more recently is that most of the great you have the rest of the Navy is in a kind of supporting role to the carrier strike right so let me just use that as your question will they become obsolete because of either the strike or is your question it will. Become obsolete because power projects will take a different form the former I think it’s likely that these giant sitting ducks out there even if they have a chain of battleships surrounding them these aircraft carriers will just be too easy to take out because of advances in submarine torpedo technology and I guess more asymmetric sorts of small you know half that could come in you disagree I disagree especially just given how much work seems to be going into these like and he accepts areas and I know a to aid the senses there’s so much if you computers kind of a bubble that surround these ships or surrounds like a coastal installation that uses precisely that information technology that we’ve been discussing to be able to counter those threats to be able to predict them in a bath and I’m not entirely sure especially if we’re talking about aggression tactical aggression from non-state actors also whether who’s going to give them well again but you never know I mean history is always interesting I’m of the opinion that it’s a web that anything but it’s also because I’ve been reading more about World War one lately so it’s not an open mike.

That’s about as to experiment Yeah well that’s one man’s opinion I have an opinion anyone else care to venture an opinion about any technologies that will become obsolete Yeah I guess one thing I can think of the technology is that our individual people to get involved in on food fight would get less and less invested on it because first there is not much true for the future in advancing and brain control mind control and so on so human psychology is still by far one of the weakest point of the military and the traumas that soldiers go through it’s very expensive actually to train individual humans income paying with investing that money can come up with robotic machines and like tanks and so on and drones so I guess the more we get into future they’re more things as you mentioned correctly things are getting on man so I guess that would be a point that the military would start. Evolving from different directions to actually one thing because I’ll be kicking myself if I don’t have this because I recently read this very interesting book called air power I think a title like man and machine that revolutionize war very very interesting book and one of the points I believe it was here that you make that the Air Force is actually he called it the least intellectual of the service branches because their way of dealing with a new problem is to invent a new gadget right rather than to come up with a new tactic a way that they haven’t had to do the maybe it had to do the audience had to do so instead they just invent something new so here is a prediction democratization of the technology and if we see more and more non-state actors using U.A.B. one more Secondly and so forth and the one piece of military technology to use that term very loosely that will always always be needed in the military academies where people have a strategy create point all right I want to take the last five minutes for an additional topic and I think I would kick myself if we didn’t talk about which is a topic that I will introduce by quoting flight Amir Putin the brilliant military strategist.

Recently was quoted as saying whoever reaches a breakthrough in developing artificial intelligence will come to dominate the world so Putin he was speaking with students in June and he said that the development of AI raises colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now but the one who becomes a leader in the sphere will be the ruler of the world and he warned that it would be strongly undesirable He says if someone wins a monopolist position and promise that Russia would be ready to share its know how an artificial intelligence with other nations.

And so I wonder what we think about this because there’s been other articles recently talking about how China has a major position now with its scientists in machine learning and artificial intelligence that one of the artificial intelligence technologies being machine learning that it’s distinctly possum. Well that China will be a first mover in developing artificial general intelligence and so I wonder what we think about this how we think artificial intelligence will affect military conflicts and do we think that one state has an advantage over some others I just asked if you needed to comment that wouldn’t saying that you would share is clearly stating that how from at each point he’s talking about because if any stayed with higher Armaan AI they would never want to share and he wouldn’t either because he’s one of the most authoritative leaders in that well and I would never imagine he would share with anybody but in saying that means that he’s asking this stronger states and so I’m clear China is the leading state in that so I should have said before we go forward that’s a great point seeing through his B.S. got it anyone else with a thought on this I’ve been very hard time interpreting anything that wouldn’t on the ground but it’s not clear whether the things that he supposedly said to fun states are meant to be seen by those one state you know whether it’s primarily things you want to go on people to see him saying those foreign states so I don’t know how to interpret couldn’t comment that makes sense yeah it does what if we take the speaker out of the picture and we just say OK well it’s quite possible that AI will be a decisive factor in future conflict but I’m trying to understand exactly how is it that military strategy really is that important and we’re going to get like version of Napoleon that will be able to implement precisely the right tactics or is it something else well God willing to pursue intelligence will at least have a longer standing effect and only and I would hazard a guess I would I would go as far as to say that strategy is so vital that I’m not sure whether it’ll be left up to machines for a very long time maybe one day it will but I wonder whether you’re talking about not to keep bringing the distinction up but application in a textbook answer in a strategic I think both and I guess in the former it will be as you said I agree with you there that with the full It will be much more effective if you so does anyone have any thoughts about how this AI power will manifest itself go. Exactly that was the point I was trying to say that artificial intelligence as its name clearly shows it’s an intelligence I guess it would be a vital tool in the hands of the strategists I don’t think I do the show intelligence would ever in the far future would be a last decision making system and it would create a lot of data it would generate a lot of data and would make it much Therefore if I have. To make that because if you think about it I would be that this isn’t then the war is between who and who that it would be in an AI and the country that’s so you know the wars we’re talking about here them talking about here is the fight between humans so if you want to go if and I becomes independent of its own decisions then it’s everything that setting myself so that situation I think also that there’s at least one way Michael to answer your question one way you can answer this question is to say that like us vs and especially Thomas U.A.B. we can rest a great deal more because we’re really distressed in hardware we’re not risking assortments life a potential diplomatic crisis and support right so I think that if that’s the case you know I doubt you will be is not as much of an embarrassment to say a pilot who now we have to negotiate to get back and who’s appearing on T.V. making all kinds of interesting announcement about our country and so forth and his parents are now being interviewed by the media and so forth a huge disaster is a down the I.V. is a lost it’s a lost model plane so to speak right not to downplay the price so if that allows us to become more tactically risk tolerant but I think it does then that can also affect our strategy as well right because it’s going to mean we don’t have to pick up battles in the same way that we are what have I think that an attempt to answer your question create Michel Oh yes I think that going to the future I would play very well I really believe tree equality and if you respect the law.

That is also.

Deployed if you had a machine gun. So.

Maybe you are allowed to make some decisions so you very.

Much Mary that environment you know I think.

You know you knew that if.

You make decision.

Going all day.

Operation especially in very difficult a way like you know going to be operational in general yeah what you’re referring to Michael O. is I guess tactical AI where in individual conflicts engagements the AI is able to make decisions more and more autonomous Lee without seeking approval from its human leaders whereas in my original conception I was thinking about AI as the military planner sitting in the military high office deciding on where to deploy troops but I suppose I could be used in either context and remains to be seen where it will be most usefully deployed one trend of let’s call the military technology is to have a massive destruction radios are like basically just being very very invasive and I guess I would be something that would narrow that down again A I would be a technology that could make weapons much more narrowly much more precise So basically if you want to make sure that one person gets killed in a specific building of many people you can basically ensure that by also integrating with existing ice and also regarding the strategist will be really empowered using like different eye technologies maybe much more tactical AI military technology but I guess I like slightly with putting maybe also a ice or big data technologies often tend to construct monopolies at least for some time because they often include lot of like a mutation of power and everything and data and so that might be actually a very unstable position that we or situation that we will come to at some point but can I add just one final thing Michael about the strategic use of AI as making sort of big big. Decisions that I think really are in the decisions and the sort of reasoning that goes into them is so controversial and there’s so much disagreement about whether or not this or that human general you know Caesar or Douglas MacArthur somebody made the right decision in this case or that case that considerable prejudice that we haven’t favor of humans I think it’s going to tip it in favor of human strategic decision makers for a very long time somebody unless you forsee an AI the table to debate make a point you know for persuasively rather than just churning out a strategy and even in that case I think there’s any conceivable skepticism about that and I’m going to say that maybe just a prejudice I hundred percent agree with that there’s always always a black box involved with AI and I always think it’s very funny For example if I remember the game where last year where the gold player was beaten when you watch the game actually it was one scene where the AI would make a move and then the work cost less Go player would just stand up and leave the room for fifteen minutes all counting to his time to because the move was so unpredictable and also the Google engineers could not explain why they did it they were assuming that it had something to do with the AI being programmed to maximize the probability to win as opposed to the probability or like the difference in score to win and so yeah so that’s a really fun example I think how big of a black box is very often both deny that the engineers from themselves can’t explain and maybe the so I said my maybe I didn’t explain well enough I didn’t mean that the strategy will be made by an AI but I think a strategist a human stretches will be extremely empowered by using I probably have or different A I say in terms of military thing not just in terms of other AI’s and in terms of both combined and I think there’s a lot of like synergetic effects that will get I crazy empower strategists Yes I would do that especially because if you look at the.

Sorry go ahead boys and then Haas you go ahead after us so it’s just the debates like it’s one of the fascinating Genki going to have a really good book on World War two and I’ve been thinking more about what makes it such a good book and I think it’s partly that I spend so much time on the debates among. Generals and among statement about what to do in this situation and very often it comes down to some one person intuition or something and so that’s going to be a very difficult thing to incorporate into on the other hand if it plays a supporting role at very least it would allow a kind of waiting and taking into consideration of many more today that otherwise would possible if I’m understanding you correctly that you’re saying that is exactly what I’m saying more and I as a dual to make more or better informed decisions that’s a great and I also didn’t become an alcoholic which is one that we can say for a lot of the commanders in regard to oh is that.

Supposed to have been true oh yeah that’s what I hear people say when you want to invest in diversify your portfolio but you don’t want to spend in military technologies little people always say spends and I’ll call it has similar correlations there I don’t want that to some of the prejudiced remarks it’s not I understand alcoholism is a crippling you know all I’m saying it seems have been responsible for a number of rash and maybe later actually successful but Bardsley based on that intuition decision and I will be making that which gives that actually an alarming degree perhaps of predictability Well sort of a hundred but I don’t want to sound like I’m picking on alcoholism by the way I’m sorry that well maybe the black box coming from an AI is also like a callers and makes it more unpredictable and also Yeah it’s been kind of like it’s not even clear if it’s on the pro or on the concept of a I can’t become an I call list right well Churchill may have been drunk but Hitler was on crystal meth apparently So you know.

There’s drugs and there’s drugs hoss I believe you had a final comment you’re speaking I had to mention this example in favor of defending human intelligence and how even though we’re trying. To more subjective decision making to object to making their faults that we should not oversee and one of the example is in criminology now very favorable trying. To achieve is having algorithms artificial and intelligent algorithms that can predict what is the percentage what is the problem we’ve had a prisoner that leaves a prison would commit crime again so in that sense it would give a lot of information to the hands of the judge so they would have better sense to judge how many years should take or when is the best time for them to be to prison and so on and one of the example is that there are some statistics that show African American people are actually taken by the police five times more for speaking more enjoyment so there is from one point of view some statistics correctly show that African-Americans are being prescribed five more and then if you just feed that data. To algorithm that would predict so if African-American person leaves the prison so the judge that they.

Can just make against African-American the wipers but screw things and other factors that is playing a role here that the policing in the neighborhoods of Africa. Is always as much almost five times more white so actually I think in terms of sumption of the status of the margin a shows that actually whites and I’m african americans call them out so my join the police be friends playing your role here so here’s an example like because the data we are feeding to our artificial intelligence Agger events are always fed by humans and are fed by data that is being faked to some factors like racism and accept the human traits is always the same there’s always a danger of us trusting who much.


A great point about trusting a good point us Parnia do you have a final thought I need a last comment and it’s actually true that African American he had one. Teryn the African American man a go to Joe based on their vices so they exist in the justice system and there is actually wrong track and as IT staff road bridge exactly grade the same issue dead we cringed AI system there taking into consideration my reading do to him but much said I promised myself example or even the mushing their name like.

Yeah right now. And that is that much for that projecting face is a white lanky form because that’s day to day feeling and also an example for a criminal I just as a because the grand they did S. is them is a lie as like is completely biased and data really increases the act where that transaction area and baking where I’m not too sure and inquired would be distillation for that. Is that there is problems every need to do there seriously especially of it there. Are embedded in our data there right now that the example has been said twice going to quickly comment on that I think I agree that there is for example maybe even racism like influencing AI but I think this specific example is likely felt because if you’re talking about people that go back to jail after leaving I think when you’re talking about African-Americans the already have a much larger sample rate of people who are in prison which mitigates that issue again so basically we will have for example if arrests will become more equally distributed meaning maybe like less races let’s call it that way society by the delay of the time in the process of people like already being in jail it will actually become an AI that will maybe even become racist towards white people because it would be so many more like white people like maybe not African-Americans because there are so many African-Americans in jail and meaning that there’s much less of the use of likely. Marianna arrested people they will go back to Jay meaning that there is actually a shift in numbers that will have a country effect just to that specific example but generally I totally agree with what you said and also with the potentially dangerous or surprising implication that that might have for a higher military technology as well you know that’s a great point anyone else with a final comment OK Well to be somebody meant back Michael in ten years and we have a reunion and see who was you know our predictions well.

Good point that’s right if we haven’t been crushed by Terminator robots by then I agree let’s meet on September seventeenth two thousand and twenty seven and decide who was right and who was wrong and look forward maybe we’ll have an AI participant at that point I’ll send you the calendar invitation actually I think I can probably make the booking it’s writing Google Calendar and we could also automates a Facebook post that in case we don’t need to automatically triggers a Facebook post where it says we were right yes perhaps Michael if the Terminator robot takeover Well at least keep us alive until we’ve completed our appointment so it might be he was.

Planning to do this well that would be very courteous of those robots yes you are the most they will assume that the most intellectual beings here because we are actually pretty good at so they will have that meeting I hope so OK i much for this Michael it’s been really great Always a pleasure yes thank you guys for making time this morning to talk to us and lending your expertise and your thoughts Yeah thank you both for joining our conversation today with me she would have you.

Thank everybody.

Had a great time thank you thank you hey you know I had a little fun realized how little I think actually about military technology that it’s like a way to complex topic than I think and I’m not sure how much more I would think about it and all that I would talk about this I wish you all a great day assuming that I’m in the most you certain time zone right now because Michael is in Canada so everybody.

Have a good day.


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