WASHINGTON — As the U.S. military deals with a seemingly endless invasion of unidentified objects in the skies, the Pentagon is reportedly planning to develop a new “weapon of mass destruction” — hordes of air, land, and sea-based drones. With some calling it the “swarm of swarms,” the program’s reported development is raising ethical and security concerns.
The top-secret strategy envisages automated, coordinated attacks by many types of unmanned machines. Critics suggest management of these machines will be difficult, raising the prospect of lethal force without direct oversight. Most details of U.S. defense research agency DARPA’s project are classified.
However, AMASS (Autonomous Multi-Domain Adaptive Swarms-of-Swarms) is reportedly described in federal contract documents revealed in a recent report by New Scientist. The controversial plan involves thousands of small aerial, ground, and underwater drones working together to destroy enemy defenses. The drones would carry missiles and tools, including target identifying GPS and radar jammers. Bids for the $78 million contract closed on Friday, Feb. 10.
“As the swarm grows in size, it’ll become virtually impossible for humans to manage the decisions,” says Zachary Kallenborn, a policy fellow at George Mason University, in the report according to South West News Service (SWNS).
“Autonomy and AI will be needed to make those decisions – with all the brittleness that entails,” continues Kallenborn, an author on WMD terrorism and homeland security. “A massive drone swarm prone to errors would be a terrifying thing – a new weapon of mass destruction.”
Would humans be able to control an army of drones?
It isn’t clear how AMASS will handle their independence, Kallenborn says. It reportedly wouldn’t need human assistance on the ground. The swarms could coordinate their actions across the entire area of the operation, which may span a whole country.
Gregory Allen, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., claims the Pentagon has been experimenting with swarms of hundreds of
drones. However, larger groups with land, air, and sea components will introduce complexity and make communication more of an issue.
“In theory AMASS could be entirely non-lethal – carrying out jamming or other non-kinetic attacks in support of other platforms that actually destroy the defenses. I think that’s unlikely though,” Kallenborn says in the report.
Allen is also dubious it could carry out its mission without using lethal force. Low-cost drones have proven effective in the conflict in Ukraine, where they have destroyed tanks, swamped air defenses, and damaged power grids. However, these drones have been individually controlled.
A control system will enable thousands of units, including drones, submarines, and robot tanks to communicate, exchange information, and coordinate actions autonomously.
The report says a DARPA spokesperson says the aim of this project is to keep humans making key decisions, with drones waiting for permission to act if communications fail. There would be people somewhere overseeing and able to step in if necessary.
South West News Service writer Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.
What about hackers?
Have to do it as a deterrent to evil china surely will do it and include their foot sodiers and robots.
What if the person suppose to be running the macherny doesn’t belong to that intelligence. Then the other intelligence from another counties intelligence macherny missing fron another intelligences macherny? That macherny has been High Jacked and it doesn’t belong to any of the intelligence running it. Due to secrets people wouldn’t know who they were? Maybe already happened? Unknown objects are physics military personal run (intelligence?) Flying wireless servers! I think we are all fucked! People running intelligence, they didn’t belong to! Including a possible chance of chimps taking them over with AI. For the animals and the innocent! FUCK THE GOVERNMENT! GOD OR GOVERNMENT?
Why the HELL ARE WE PUTTING OUR SECRET WEAPONS ON PUBLIC MEDIA WHERE OUR ENEMIES CAN FIND OUT!! KEEP OUR MILITARY SECRETS SECRET!!
Have you ever heard that the spouse of a cheater is often the last to know? Similar here. Our enemies know far more about of secret weapons than you are I do. They are already working on the same things, that’s why you are being told that we will start working on them too.
They have the right idea about using hordes of drones,will be very formidable, hoped they get that idea.the same should be done to go after attacking enemy subs they should use the most advanced A.I.computer to control them,and equip our military craft with transponders so our super computer will recognize our military craft and ignore them.
Was wondering when our military would get the idea.🔮
…….and this is where it began, the end. Congratulations guys your following the playbook to Armageddon precisely. Imbeciles
I like to receive intelligence news please keep sending to me.
They should have just named it Skynet. We’re Doomed!!
You think that are government haven’t already done what they are now just telling us they have been doing it over the last few years and now they are just letting us know what we are going to do they are letting CHAINA know that we are a lot smarter than they are because CHAINA is just now trying to do what we have already done and have mastered with the drones we have been mastering it for years now so we are prepared for to go and get down and dirty when ever there ready we are ready to go to war if need be are government don’t give out what they are going to do without already being ready for action but who am I kidding Biden has already told CHAINA what we are going to do because he has already sold us out to them for the Last two years he’s been in office he thinks selling ground around are military bases is a good idea if he had a brain or his wife that’s running our country had a brain they would think that’s not a good idea for this country but let’s sell all of are land around all of the Bases we have in the United states to CHAINA so they can still everything that we have instead of them trying to still it Biden is just butting in his garage next to his Corvette so his son and family can give it to the CHAINA the easy way that way they don’t have to still it lol
Giant wall of nonsense text. Please learn how to use punctuation and a spell checker.
Check your spelling. I’m tired of figuring out what you’re saying!
It’s about time they do this. I honestly think we are behind with AI. Swarms have been in the making for over 10 years now (my personal guess).