With the GIDE system (Global Information Dominance Experiments), the US military intends to predict events in order to develop response strategies several days in advance.
In the excellent series Person of Interest, the rich and brilliant engineer Harold Finch is developing an artificial intelligence called The Machine that can predict crimes well in advance. This is what leads this character and his henchmen to try to warn them ahead of time – before facing off against Samaritan, a similar AI but with less ethical goals than those who pilot the Machine. This scenario structures other works of science fiction, such as Minority Report, where the police system puts people under arrest before they have committed their crime. But we can go back even further: the writer Isaac Asimov had imagined an overpowered computer, named Multivac, and also capable of predicting a certain number of events well in advance.
At the end of July 2021, the US Department of Defense – the Pentagon – gave a futuristic-looking press conference. They presented, on this occasion, a system called GIDE – Global Information Dominance Experiments. This system, tested for a year, mobilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as data stored in the cloud, to ” see several days in advance », That is to say anticipating certain events or certain configurations. We are not talking here “No minutes or hours, but days », Revealed the presentation.
According to US Air Force General Glen D. VanHerck, this would allow more leeway in the choices to be made. He explains that the GIDE system “ embodies a fundamental shift in the way we use information and data to increase leadership decision space, whether at the tactical or strategic level – not only for military leaders, but also for civilian leaders “.
“This puts us on alert several days in advance”
At the press conference, Glen D. VanHerck gives an example: “ We use artificial intelligence and machine learning to examine and assess, for example, the average number of cars in a parking lot that might be in a specific location for a competitor or threat. And we monitor that over a period of time. Clearly, on the military level, this allows us to know in advance what is the scale of the “enemy” forces present, in order to adapt the logistics and the strategy accordingly. In his term, the general emphasizes above all the capacity to react, but also evokes a capacity to be ” proactive “.
However, the GIDE system does not seem to work miracles compared to what is already achieved by the army. The Pentagon, like other countries, is already able to watch a submarine leave its port and head for another destination, making a map of what’s going on. Above all, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms bring together this information at unprecedented speed to draw up a global predictive panorama at a time T of the situation to come. We are therefore still a long way from SF stories, but ethical questions can of course already arise.
It is above all a matter of a massive collection of data, then of their logical coherence. ” This puts us on alert several days in advance by providing a capacity to react. Where in the past we might not have been able to spot a GEOINT satellite image with an analyst, we now do it in minutes or almost in real time. », Explains the general.
The cloud would bring “significant advantages”
But what data are we talking about? One had to suspect it: the American army remains not very talkative on the operation of the system. The Pentagon especially insisted, during this press conference, on the use of the cloud, that is to say the online storage of information, whether it is to communicate internally to the army, to choose what is shared or not to foreign powers, or to collect data. In fact, the cloud would bring ” significant advantages “.
Glen D. VanHerck assures us that the GIDE system uses “ data and information available today “:” We are not creating new capacities to fetch data and information. This information already exists thanks to today’s satellites, today’s radars, today’s underwater capabilities, today’s computing, today’s intelligence capabilities. hui. “This concerns both military radar surveillance and data” commercially available », Specifies the general. ” The data is there. What we do is make that data available and share it in a cloud where machine learning and artificial intelligence examine it. And they process them very quickly and then deliver them to the decision makers. “
The general also indicated that it was not a new technology, but a new use of what already exists. ” You know, Amazon did it, Google did it too. Many people have found how to pool and share data and information “, He indicates, adding further that” it is an infrastructure that uses technology readily available today “. The GIDE 3 system having been a success according to the Pentagon, GIDE 4 should be tested soon.