Future infantry might not need humans

Leading thinkers in technology and warfare picture a transformed infantry in future battles where humans are distant,  if not entirely removed, from the fighting. Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, the deputy commanding general of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, spoke at the third annual “Mad Scientist” conference, a partnership between Georgetown University and TRADOC. MacFarland emphasized that U.S. adversaries such as Russia are using existing technologies in new applications, such as cyber attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure in conjunction with deploying troops, changing the battlefield tactics. But those types of maneuvers are child’s play when compared to what many see coming in both the near-term and ensuing decades as autonomous machines are incorporated alongside mounted and dismounted troops, carrying supplies and firing weapons. A Russian video shown at the conference had unmanned tanks roving a city, destroying tanks and buildings and killing snipers. The advent of artificial intelligence in combat will radically change the nature of the infantry, experts said. “We’re standing on the cusp of a fundamental change in the history of warfare,” MacFarland said. Many of the experts see the role of the infantryman morphing into that of a kind of battlefield coordinator. The individual soldier or Marine…

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