CloudComputing

Skynet or Eagle Eye: You Decide

CloudComputing

Skynet or Eagle Eye: you decide. There is a little military exercise going on in the US that you might have heard about, called “Jade Helm.” What makes this interesting for me are the computer systems that are involved in this military exercise. All militaries enjoy using acronyms for just about everything, and JADE Helm is an example of that. JADE stands for “Joint Assistant for Deployment and Execution.” From what I can tell, this is a cloud system that is controlled by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Think about that for a second—a military exercise run with an AI system at the helm. Here is the abstract addressing what this system does:

JADE (Joint Assistant for Deployment and Execution) is a knowledge-based mixed-initiative system that supports force deployment planning and management. JADE uses case-based and generative planning methods to support the development of large-scale, complex deployment plans in minimal time. JADE incorporates the technology of three tools: Prodigy-Analogy (a combined case-based and generative planner developed by Carnegie Mellon University); ForMAT (Force Management and Analysis Tool that supports case-based force deployment planning developed by BBN Technologies); and PARKA (a highly-indexed knowledge based management system developed by the University of Maryland).

Would you find it interesting that two different versions of JADE are available? There is a stand-alone version that runs on a Windows NT platform that can be configured to communicate with external systems, and then there is the ACOA-JADE (Adaptive Course of Action) model, which is the AI of the system. The software will run on both Windows NT and Sun workstations, and the application is written in Common Lisp. Never heard of Common Lisp? Common Lisp is the “modern, multi-paradigm, high-performance, compiled, ANSI-standardized, most prominent (along with Scheme) descendant of the long-running family of Lisp programming languages,” according to its website.

Now here is a kicker for you: the document I referenced above is from 2001. From what I understand now, the AI has been moved to a quantum computing technology. This technology basically takes the system to an entirely different level as a cognitive software program that is based on a network-centric warfare system. The current version of the system will tie into an increasing number of different systems, one of which could very well be the aerial drones, and may have the ability to calculate the intent of future actions.

In conclusion, I would like to share that this system both fascinates as well as scares me at the same time. What happens if it becomes “self-aware?” I have to believe that this could be the start of a new era as more and more AI systems are brought online. I have read that Facebook is working on its own system, and I imagine that Google has a version in the works as well. This kind of technology is what marketing companies dream about. With both AI and quantum computer systems becoming more prevalent, the future of computing is set for a radical change. Skynet or Eagle Eye: you decide.

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Steve Beaver
Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.
Steve Beaver

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