In the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have deployed AI and supercomputers to determine strike targets in what they call the first artificial intelligence (AI) war.
In May of this year, the IDF used a swarm of AI-guided drones and supercomputing to flick through information and identify new targets in the Gaza Strip. This is the first time AI drones have been used for combat. The use of AI in drone strikes has increased on the battlefield, with a recent UN report revealing that Libya launched an autonomous drone strike on Haftar affiliated forces last year, identifying an AI-guided drone for the first time and possibly attacking human targets without human input.
Now, the technology is reported to have made significant use of the Israeli-Gaza conflict, with 4,400 rockets fired at Israel in 11 days of intense fighting in May and 1,500 attacks in Gaza. The war requires a lot of information to effectively exploit and use AI. Data collected through satellites, air recovery vehicles and a few years of ground intel need to be fed to machine learning systems. It allows it to identify targets and predict when and where enemy attacks may occur.
According to the IDF, the AI has been used extensively over the past two years to target Hamas suspected locations and attack strategic targets to remove missile launch sites.
According to the IDF, the AI has been used extensively over the past two years to target Hamas suspected locations and attack strategic targets to remove missile launch sites. The source of these algorithms is Israel’s Unit 8200, an IDF intelligence corps unit that specializes in code decryption and signal intelligence. According to the report, Unit 8200 developed multiple algorithms that Geographic, Humanitarian and Signal Intelligence used to determine strike targets, which were sent to the command to strike.
It is difficult to determine the significance of this development without knowing the exact details of the drone’s capabilities, but the growing use of AI-guided drones has raised concerns among many, including the UN Security Council and Human Rights Watch.