US Deploys "Project Maven" In Middle East As AI Warfare Underway

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Mar 01, 2024 - 03:05 AM

Remember in 2018 when thousands of Google employees protested its Pentagon contract called "Project Maven" that used article intelligence technology to analyze drone surveillance footage?

Well, six years after Google did not renew its Pentagon contract for AI work to head off an internal rebellion, that very same technology was used by the US military to identify targets across the Middle East in bombing raids by fighter jets earlier this month, according to Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer for US Central Command, which runs US military operations in the Middle East, who spoke with Bloomberg

"We've been using computer vision to identify where there might be threats," Moore said in an interview. 

Source: Bloomberg

She continued: "We've certainly had more opportunities to target in the last 60 to 90 days," adding the US is currently looking for "an awful lot" of rocket launchers in the region. 

Moore's comments provide some of the strongest evidence to date that the US military is using AI targeting systems to identify potential strike areas. She noted that even after Google walked away from the project, experimenting has continued with drone or satellite imagery. 

Based at Central Command, or Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Florida, Moore revealed that US forces in the Middle East have been testing AI targeting systems using a combination of satellites and other data sources and conducted exercises over the past year with the technology. 

"October 7th, everything changed," she said, adding, "We immediately shifted into high gear and a much higher operational tempo than we had previously." She noted the shift from exercises to real-life missions was "a pretty seamless shift" with Project Maven. 

However, Moore emphasized that Project Maven's AI capabilities only identify potential targets instead of automatically confirming and killing the target. 

A separate Bloomberg report noted:

"A growing number of US military officers predict that AI will transform the way America and its enemies make war, ranking it alongside the radio and machine gun in its potential to revolutionize combat." 

Insiders told Bloomberg that Project Maven's core data-fusion platform is developed by Palantir Technologies, and involves critical contributions from Amazon Web Services, ECS Federal, L3Harris Technologies, Maxar Technologies, Microsoft, and Sierra Nevada.

According to Colonel Joseph O'Callaghan, the fire support coordinator for the 18th Airborne Corps and its AI targeting efforts leader, Project Maven, "is not Terminator. The machines aren't making the decisions, they're not going to arise and take over the world."

America's use of AI in warfare for targeting assistance is no longer theoretical. This could be the beginning innings of Skynet.