The Defense Department has begun to incorporate artificial intelligence software into unmanned aerial systems designed to fly alongside manned aircraft to detect hostile targets, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Matthew Rosenberg and John Markoff write the drone is part of DoD’s efforts to advance the development of autonomous and semiautonomous weapon systems in order to help the U.S. maintain its military advantage over Russia, China and other potential adversaries.
“China and Russia are developing battle networks that are as good as our own,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.
“They can see as far as ours can see; they can throw guided munitions as far as we can,” Work added.
The Pentagon has allocated $18 billion in funds to technology development efforts, including $3 billion in funds to support the creation of “human-machine combat teaming” platforms in the next five years, Rosenberg and Markoff report.
DoD has also introduced the “centaur warfighting” strategy that seeks to advance the use of autonomous weapons and human control to support the problem-solving skills of uniformed personnel, according to the publication.