Army achieves ‘Skynet’ — self-aware decision-making network

The future of modern weaponry is here, and it doesn't look good

(INTELLIHUB) — Army engineers just met and discussed how far their “self-aware decision-making network” has come at the Communications Conference 2011 in Baltimore.

This advanced draconian Skynet style fire-and-forget system is right out of the Terminator movies and could be coming to a battlefield (town) near you.

The Army’s own website reads:

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, has developed cognitive wireless networking capabilities that employ network-wide learning and reasoning algorithms that share information that enable nodes to make decisions.

CERDEC engineers hope that the results of their Cognitive Algorithm & Network Design Experiment, or CANDE, will enable easier network maintenance, reduce human decision-making requirements, increase network lifetime, transfer data with less delay, and reduce energy consumption — all of which result in a higher degree of network performance on the battlefield.

“It’s important that we apply learning and reasoning because currently, there’s no ‘intelligence’ in the network. Therefore, we’re developing capabilities that will aid the network in taking on this adaptive layer of learning and information sharing to reduce the complexity in managing the network,” said Sharon Mackey, chief for the Network Design and Cognitive Networking Sciences branch of CERDEC’s Space &Terrestrial Communications Directorate.


A more intelligent infrastructure reduces the need for Soldier intervention and aids in providing seamless information, noted Mitesh Patel, S&TCD technical lead for CANDE.

“A Soldier has to keep track of a lot of things to maintain the network such as network constraints, requirements and objectives. With cognitive algorithms, the network is more intelligent and self aware thus reducing resource management in the network,” Patel said.

One of the products within CANDE is the Cognitive Network Engineering Design Analytic Toolset, or CNEDAT, which can provide network design architectures for networks as they are being engineered, maintained, repaired or redesigned.

“The CNEDAT does not need a constructed network. Provide the constraints and objectives, and it will create a network for you: that is the power of this tool. It can optimize existing networks, and it can design a network from scratch while providing the most optimized way of maneuvering through the network,” Patel said.

And let’s not forget about LANdroids. Network World reports:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced a program to build wireless, mobile bots – known as LANdroids – that soldiers can spread over a battlefield that, once deployed, would then form a wireless mesh network capable of voice/data transmissions.

Once dropped, the bots, which are to weigh less than 2 lbs and be able to crawl around, self-configure and form a mesh network.

In a mesh, wireless devices connect to a nearby node, which passes the packets to one or more companion nodes. Algorithms are used to find a route for optimal performance and avoid downed nodes or interference.

Nodes in a mesh don’t need cabled network connections, so deployments are relatively simple, fast, and inexpensive, compared with using convention WLAN access points. In a battlefield situation they would be ideal for setting up and tearing down networks, experts say.

As the battlefield situation changes, the nodes will adapt the network, such as self-healing if nodes are destroyed by the enemy. Being able to crawl, the LANdroids will enable effective communications in crowded, hard to reach locales – such as city streets and urban battle zones.

DARPA says the LANdroids robots will consist of a radio, robotic platform, battery, and small processor, will be expendable. Solders’ must be able to drop and go – benefiting from the infrastructure while it is in place but not being required to move back into harm’s way to retrieve the robots.

The other stark reality is that scientists have produced an organic “molecular computer” that simulates the human brain, as reported by Michigan Tech:

Researchers from Japan and the Michigan Technological University have succeeded in building a molecular computer that, more than any previous project of its kind, can replicate the inner mechanisms of the human brain, repairing itself and mimicking the massive parallelism that allows our brains to process information like no silicon-based computer can.

A relatively new technology, molecular electronics is an interdisciplinary pursuit that may very well prove the long-term solution to validate Moore’s law well into the next century. A molecular computer is made of organic molecules instead of silicon. Chips built this way are not only potentially much smaller but also, because of the way they can be networked, able to do things that no other traditional computer, regardless of its speed, can do.

“Modern computers are quite fast, capable of executing trillions of instructions a second, but they can’t match the intelligent performance of our brain,” Michigan Tech physicist Ranjit Pati commented. “Our neurons only fire about a thousand times per second. But I can see you, recognize you, talk with you, and hear someone walking by in the hallway almost instantaneously, a Herculean task for even the fastest computer.”

And if that is not enough FEMA has a new contraption that can hunt you down (during martial law of course), the “Big Dog.”

Oh, how impressive technology is — it makes you want to run out and buy that iPhone.

What if they equipped the FEMA Big Dog with a self-aware auto turret that could rock and roll on the populace? Ouch!