Pentagon Coming to Terms With Technological Realities

By Sandra I. Erwin To defeat daunting enemies like the Islamic State, the Pentagon expects to continue to rely on precision bombs and missiles. But it also is pinning big hopes on brain-like computers designed by commercial companies to crunch unprecedented amounts of open-source data.  “We are absolutely confident that deep-learning machines will let us get after ISIS,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.  This realization dawned on him during a visit to a Silicon Valley tech company, where he witnessed a real-time recreation of the July 2014 downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by a Russian surface-to-air missile. This was done entirely from social media posts, images and other open source information, Work marveled during a March 30 talk with columnist David Ignatius at The Washington Post.  Computers…


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