Named the role of artificial intelligence in the conflict in Ukraine
– Vladimir Semenovich, let me ask a perhaps naive question: do we really need artificial intelligence so much? What did not please the human intellect, natural? Or is it the desire of scientists to invent, the desire to create something new and get the Nobel Prize?
We really need artificial intelligence (AI). It just so happened that natural intelligence, that is, the natural human brain, simply cannot cope today even with those elementary tasks that a primitive calculator can easily solve. Yes, a person is able to calculate something in his mind, knowing the multiplication table. But how fast?
This is what Paul Sharre, vice president and director of research for the Center for a New American Security, says. He published an interesting book, which was published in the USA at the very end of February - "Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence."
- What is this book about?
– Sharre is a strategic planner, worked in the office of the US Secretary of Defense. He participated in the development of the use of unmanned and autonomous systems and new weapons technologies, and determined the Pentagon's intelligence policy. Serious specialist.
Charré explores how international competition for the most powerful technology, artificial intelligence, is changing global power dynamics. In his opinion, the outcome of this struggle will determine the next global superpower.
What arguments does he give?
- Very persuasive. He argues that the battle for AI power will revolutionize the world's military and economy. He was recently interviewed in Insider about the issues reflected in his book, which concludes on four key battlefields of global competition: in the field of artificial intelligence or data; computing equipment or computing; human talent; institutions needed for the successful implementation of AI systems.
- Probably, first of all, he means the military benefits of artificial intelligence?
– Yes, and he specifically talks about the military conflict in Ukraine. He candidly admits: “I think it’s likely that the US Department of Defense and the intelligence community are using AI to analyze satellite or drone images, and while they don’t publicly admit it, it’s possible that it plays a role in the information that The US is sharing with Ukraine. We have seen other examples of the use of artificial intelligence technologies directly by Ukrainian forces on the ground, in particular by some civilian drone operators. We also see in the war in Ukraine the importance of logistics, for example, and maintenance operations, and this is that the main part of what the military does on a day-to-day basis is moving people and things from point A to point B - this is very similar at Walmart or Amazon. This is a place where the military can improve their logistics, readiness, finances, personnel and maintenance.”
So far it doesn't sound very convincing. A diligent graduate of the Academy of our - and any - General Staff can draw you any logistics on a detailed map in an hour. Yes, and you, as a general, are well acquainted with the algorithm for solving this problem. Moreover, this decision can be original, non-standard and even witty. Why do we need mechanical brains?
– This is the whole problem – the speed of making the right decision. Yes, a person will find a solution - but when, how quickly? How much time will it take to debate, agree with the authorities, to check certain options? Measure the distance on the same map with a curvimeter? Even just to count something in your mind or in a column? And often everything is decided by moments.
Charré makes this argument: “As for military achievements in the field of warfare, there are also several examples. In the DARPA Alpha Dog competition, the goal was to create an AI agent that could achieve superhuman performance in a simulation against a human in dogfight. The AI did well, went head-to-head with an experienced Air Force pilot and completely crushed the human pilot 15-0 - the human didn't fire a single shot against the AI.
In particular, head-to-head shots are effectively banned in human pilot training because there is a high risk of collision if the pilot tries to maneuver the aircraft while you are racing each other at hundreds of miles per hour. And in any case, it is extremely difficult to do and requires a superhuman level of precision, but all this was not a problem for the AI agent. He can fire these shots in a fraction of a second while avoiding collision. And the AI agent has learned to do it all by itself - it hasn't been trained to do it. The AI system that won was simulator-trained and had over 30 years of simulated flight time. It was one of the things she just learned on her own from all those years of simulated aerial combat." This is the whole point of AI - a universal soldier.
- Impressive. But artificial intelligence is needed not only in war, is it?
“This is what Sharre says: “There are a lot of places where AI can have a pretty significant impact on economic productivity over time. For example, special applications that can improve finance, medicine, transportation or other industries. Self-driving cars need to be at the stage where they are truly efficient and viable on the roads. The use of AI in medicine, for visualization, such things can be very useful for the whole society. But one of the most exciting things about AI is its ability to improve performance in a wide variety of places.”
- And what can artificial intelligence do for an ordinary, single person?
- A lot. American experts argue that AI is, in fact, not intelligence - it is a prediction. With larger language models, there has been an increase in the machine's ability to predict and execute the desired outcome. Thus, Paul Sharre believes that “AI has great potential to bring benefits in various sectors, including education, healthcare and the fight against climate change. For example, FireAId is an artificial intelligence-based computer system that uses wildfire risk maps. In healthcare, AI is being used to improve patient care through more effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Increased efficiency also reduces health care costs. Moreover, artificial intelligence should radically change - and ideally - improve the care of the elderly.
And what is very important is that artificial intelligence protects people from criminality, that is, it ensures the safety of ordinary people. Charré cites the Chinese experience: “China has half of the 1 billion (!) surveillance cameras in the world, and they are increasingly using artificial intelligence tools such as face recognition or gait recognition to determine who people are based on their models. gaits and how they walk. And in conjunction with other types of data, such as license plate data, calls or geolocation data on phones and people's shopping behavior, to track Chinese citizens.
China exports most of its technology overseas, which is why 80 countries around the world have purchased Chinese surveillance technology.”
- Do these police superpowers of artificial intelligence threaten elementary human freedoms? Will Big Brother be watching each of us now?
- There are such concerns. But this requires not only technological limitations, but also a carefully designed legislative framework. After all, AI, no matter how perfect it is, - even though it is self-learning, in itself - is a soulless and devoid of the concept of morality, religion and ideology mechanism. All these properties are invested in it by the developers of the program. That is, hatred of Russia or, say, the United States or China may well be embedded in the electronic brain of AI. And here, alas, all responsibility falls on the human developer.
Agree, it doesn’t matter that the MP-40 submachine gun (it is mistakenly called “Schmeisser”) was once made at a factory in Nazi Germany. What matters is whose hands it was in. It's one thing - in the hands of an SS man who shoots peaceful ghetto hostages. The other is in the hands of the Soviet partisan.
- It seems to me that you are very pessimistic about the great minds that create artificial intelligence ...
- The writer Zoshchenko once remarked: "In order not to think badly about people, it is better not to think about them at all."
- And yet, can artificial intelligence suddenly one day rebel against its creator - a man?
Are you hinting at a Hollywood blockbuster about the terminator? You will not believe it, but I personally do not exclude the so-called "rebellion of the machines", no matter how fantastic it may seem.
And the same Paul Sharre speaks about this: “Microsoft and Google quite recently publicly deployed chatbots with artificial intelligence that were not ready. And the problem is not that Bing declares its love for users and says that whoever chats with should leave his wife to be with him - I mean, that's pretty strange.
Agree, it's really strange. Your laptop in all seriousness invites you to live with him instead of his wife. How can you not go crazy?
But here I agree with the same Charre who comments on this predictable horror: “For me, this is something that should make us think when we think about how we use these AI systems in more real applications. At present, the risk of a chatbot hurting someone's feelings doesn't stun the world, but as we see AI integrated into applications with greater implications, we want to make sure these systems will do what we get from them. want."
That is, again, it all depends on the developer.
- The prospect looks, to put it mildly, not sunny. What do American experts offer?
– Unlike you, the Americans are not so tragic. Don't take Hollywood productions seriously.
The same Sharre cheerfully stated: “I would not say that I am optimistic about technology. I mean, I'm pretty optimistic about where AI is heading in terms of capabilities. I just think we're seeing tremendous progress and I don't think there are any signs of it slowing down in the near future. But there are many risks associated with AI. I would just say that I am optimistic about the ability of society to cope with these risks.”
– The approach to the problem is thoughtful and serious. Do you agree with Sharre that artificial intelligence opens a new era in the life of mankind?
Whether we like it or not, this is how it is. It is important for us to make AI become not a new weapon, such as nuclear, which would affect the balance of power, but a tool of creation. We already have a means of destroying each other and, in particular, ourselves. Let's think about how to save us all. Maybe artificial intelligence will suggest the correct algorithm?