US military planning to invest billions in AI research to spot hidden nuclear missiles

A man walks past a shell, which is the replica of the biggest detonated Soviet nuclear bomb AN-602
A man walks past a shell, which is the replica of the biggest detonated Soviet nuclear bomb AN-602. Reuters

The US military is apparently planning to invest billions in artificial intelligence (AI) so that hidden nuclear missiles can be spotted with precision. The new initiative is the part of a program, which is intended to determine how the potential of artificial intelligence can be used wisely to ensure America's safety against the threat of nuclear attacks.

Artificial intelligence to safeguard US from nuclear attacks

As per Reuters, the new initiative from the US military has gone largely unreported. However, top US officials who have knowledge about this secret research program have told news outlet that multiple AI initiatives are now underway intended to develop systems to protect the US from potential nuclear threats from countries like North Korea.

The names of the US officials, who divulged the details have been kept under the wraps, as the nature of this research project is highly classified.

According to experts, there are two common methods by which a nuclear attack can be defended. Either a country can launch a preemptive strike against the missile launchers before the ICBM takes off, or attempts should be made to bring down the rocket once it is airborne. It should be noted that attacking an ICBM once it is airborne is extremely difficult and currently, no nations have that advanced system to take down an incoming ICBM with nuclear warheads.

If the new AI research becomes successful, computer systems in the US military will be able to think for themselves beyond the capabilities of humans, and they can easily locate signs of preparations of missile launches. Thus, the military can easily destroy the ICBM carrying nuclear warheads before they take off.

"We should be doing everything in our power to find that missile before they launch it and make it increasingly harder to get it off the ground," said one of the officials, quoted by Reuters.

America pouring billions

It has been learned that the Donald Trump administration has proposed more than tripling funding in next year's budget to $83 million for just one of the AI-driven exploration initiatives. Even though the amount may seem pretty small compared to other programs, this sum could be increased in the coming years considering the potential of using artificial intelligence to boost the nation's security.

Several top military officials have previously revealed that the country is very much concerned about North Korea's secret nuclear programs which are mainly carried out in tunnels and forests. These officials believe that implementing AI programs will help to spot these hidden nuclear warheads with precision.

Related topics : Artificial intelligence