Revolutionary Artificial Intelligence warship contracts announced

The funding aims to revolutionise the way warships {actually it's ALL ARMS} make decisions and process thousands of strands of intelligence and data by using Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).

Nine projects will share an initial £1 million to develop technology and innovative solutions to overcome increasing ‘information overload’ faced by crews as part of DASA’s Intelligent Ship – The Next Generation competition.

DASA, on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is looking at how future defence platforms can be designed and optimised to exploit current and future advances in:

  • Automation
  • Autonomy
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
This DASA competition has the potential to lead the transformation of our defence platforms, leading to a sea change in the relationships between AI and human teams. This will ensure UK defence remains an effective, capable force for good in a rapidly changing technological landscape.
Crews are already facing information overload with thousands of sources of data, intelligence, and information. By harnessing automation, autonomy, machine learning and artificial intelligence with the real-life skill and experience of our men and women, we can revolutionise the way future fleets are put together and operate to keep the UK safe.
The competition, currently backed by a total of £4 million over two phases, has the potential to transform the way the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force equipment platforms are designed, work together, operated and manned by the 2040s.
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Why implement this in the 2040's surely there is a need for this now?
 
The funding aims to revolutionise the way warships {actually it's ALL ARMS} make decisions and process thousands of strands of intelligence and data by using Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).

Nine projects will share an initial £1 million to develop technology and innovative solutions to overcome increasing ‘information overload’ faced by crews as part of DASA’s Intelligent Ship – The Next Generation competition.

DASA, on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is looking at how future defence platforms can be designed and optimised to exploit current and future advances in:

  • Automation
  • Autonomy
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial Intelligence

The competition, currently backed by a total of £4 million over two phases, has the potential to transform the way the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force equipment platforms are designed, work together, operated and manned by the 2040s.
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Why implement this in the 2040's surely there is a need for this now?
@Spank-it,
The paragraph below the one you have highlighted in bold covers this.
See underlined text below. Retro-fitting the current Fleet (and the ones under construction) could be a nightmare contractually and physically.

Innovations developed in phase 1 of the competition could later help determine the different platform types, size and role of future platforms as well potentially being adapted and integrated into the existing fleet.
 
Should work quite well, provided it never comes into contact with natural stupidity.
 

Yokel

LE
I seem to recall bring told (not just me) that we are starting to experiment with aspects of AI, particularly machine learning, in some of our current RN/RFA platforms.

I think it was a RN Captain and head or a training organisation that said this. He may have also mentioned Big Data.
 
Lots of people talk about AI and ML. Some of them understand what it means.

The biggest issue will actually be certification of such systems - particularly when it's supplying information that may directly impact a targeting chain / decision, or safety of the ship / aircraft.
 
My natural and well cultivated cynicism makes me think that information overload for crews actually means getting big computers to replace boots on deck.
 

Fake Sheikh

War Hero
So send ships to sea not manned but using AI?
What could possibly go wrong or be hacked?
 
The biggest issue will actually be certification of such systems - particularly when it's supplying information that may directly impact a targeting chain / decision, or safety of the ship / aircraft.
This x 1000
 

Yokel

LE
So send ships to sea not manned but using AI?
What could possibly go wrong or be hacked?
No this is about augmenting human capabilities. I can see applications such as minehunting sonar detecting mine like objects and differentiating them from the background seabed, or detecting early signs of small craft swarming, or things like monitoring an engine and detecting early signs of impending failure.

Machine Learning is not that different from how people learn - by trial and error.
 

mrdude

War Hero
O/T but how would one of these warships handle a 'swarm' of drones?

Example, Iran or China etc - decided to launch 200+ small drones packed with explosives + Biological weapons.

If a jet did a 'flyby' from above - it could release the drones as a payload.

If you shoot the drones down - the biological payload will get you, also how would you be able to shoot down small drones, if there were lots of them - especially if they attacked from multiple angles?

Or what about a swarm of mini sub drones, dropped from above - then they go under the water and propel themselves to the ships hull/props - and then blow up? They don't need a massive range either.
 
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Yokel

LE
O/T but how would one of these warships handle a 'swarm' of drones?

Example, Iran or China etc - decided to launch 200+ small drones packed with explosives + Biological weapons.

If a jet did a 'flyby' from above - it could release the drones as a payload.

If you shoot the drones down - the biological payload will get you, also how would you be able to shoot down small drones, if there were lots of them - especially if they attacked from multiple angles?
1. Shoot the jets down before they can launch the 'drones'.
2. The biological warfare threat has existed for decades. Warships have CBRN protection.
3. Unlikely that both a HE payload and a biological one could be carried together.
4. AI might be part of the swarm threat.
5. @jrwlynch might have something to say about drone swarms.
 
Machine Learning is not that different from how people learn - by trial and error.

...and sometimes the machine subtly (or not so subtly) misunderstands what it is being taught.
 

mrdude

War Hero
1. Shoot the jets down before they can launch the 'drones'.
2. The biological warfare threat has existed for decades. Warships have CBRN protection.
3. Unlikely that both a HE payload and a biological one could be carried together.
4. AI might be part of the swarm threat.
5. @jrwlynch might have something to say about drone swarms.
Hmm, OK what about this scenario:

'Sleeper' mini subs or some sort of box type thing (to release them) - strategically positioned in the sea at choke points or shipping lanes. When a warship gets near - they launch these little mini sub drones (loads of them), which would overwhelm a ships defenses. That tech must surely already exist - and I don't see that we have spend much money on R&D in the last few years to combat that.
Also how would a warship disable slow moving tactical mini subs with a nuclear payload - they wouldn't even know the position of these due to their stealth capabilities, these already exist and can be programmed to get to locations (even if it takes months).

I'm not sure launching multiple drones - that they could all be shot down - look at that oil refinery that had the same thing happen to it a few months ago.
 
Hmm, OK what about this scenario:

'Sleeper' mini subs or some sort of box type thing (to release them) - strategically positioned in the sea at choke points or shipping lanes. When a warship gets near - they launch these little mini sub drones (loads of them), which would overwhelm a ships defenses. That tech must surely already exist - and I don't see that we have spend much money on R&D in the last few years to combat that.
If your going to the trouble of sticking a box of drones in likely shipping lanes why not just stick a torpedo in said box - When Warship passes close by off shoots torpedo - A nautical Ambush mine utilizing a CAPtive TORpedo - far simpler and I dare say probably more effective
 

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