What’s Happening in Tech

Data Points

Vol. 17 // 2021

Realistic 3D printing composition, copyright Macrovector via Creative Market

NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGIES IN DEFENSE

High-end technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, 3D printing, and quantum computing are changing the ways militaries all over the world are addressing security threats. A poll by Verdict concluded that AI and quantum computing will be the next-gen technologies in the armed forces. The United States is leveraging the power of these technologies to design advanced weapons, fighter crafts, ground vehicles, and naval vessels. The US military is employing AI models to hunt submarines and safeguard harbors. Whereas, quantum computing is used to fight in complicated situations in war zones. (“AI and quantum computing to be the most impactful next-generation technologies in defence: Poll” – Army Technology)

AI CONTROLS WEAPONS

A blue-sky research division of the Pentagon, Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) exercised a mission in which AI-enabled robots were armed to interact with friendly and enemy robots through radio transmitters. Drones and robots took to the skies to find terrorists that were hidden in several buildings. Dozens of robots were involved in this exercise without being remotely operated by humans. They were given instructions to find and eliminate targets when necessary. (“The Pentagon Inches Toward Letting AI Control Weapons” – Wired)

VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IN MILITARY

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced the development of AI-based technologies to help the military workforce perform complex tasks. This initiative will be held under the Perceptually-enabled Task Guidance (PTG) programme that focuses on the development of virtual assistants. They will assist military personnel with visual and audio feedback. AI will collaborate with humans to reduce errors and make effective decisions. (“DARPA’s PTG seeks to develop AI technologies to help military personnel” – Army Technology)

ARTIFICIAL NEURONS

Researchers from Zurich have developed an energy-efficient device using Neuromorphic engineering. It is a promising approach towards generating artificial neurons that can decode brainwaves. The technology bridges the gap between natural and artificial intelligence and develops an innovative method of treating epilepsy patients. The data from brainwaves will be recorded in the chip and measured using an intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) in real-time to identify the affected regions of the brain. (“Artificial Neurons Recognize Biosignals in Real Time” – University of Zurich)

PROGRAMMABLE DIGITAL FIBER

MIT researchers have developed a programmable digital fiber that contains temperature, memory sensors, and a neural network program. It senses, stores, and infers the physical activity of the subject when the fiber is sewn into a shirt. Digital fiber has the ability to determine the patterns in human body functions and the data can be used to monitor physical performance. Its applications will be helpful in medical inference and early disease detection. (“Engineers create a programmable fiber” – MIT News)