One of the most important principles of war which will always remain irrespective of time, is the element of surprise, a military brings onto the warfront. An enemy can be surprised in many ways. It could be pure innovative strategies, tactics or processes. Most of these forms of surprises have determined the outcome of every war fought in the history of mankind. But the surprise element presented through means of new technology, alters the course of warfare forever. The last century has seen major technological upheavals that has determined the course of the two world wars and other major and minor conflicts.
The future war will be primarily a Digital Super Intelligence (DSI) controlled warfare. This phenomenon is qualitatively and quantitatively different from any technology we have been
acquainted with so far. To understand the nature of this technology marvel, if one can simply see it from the prism of both the machine and man being taken out of the equation altogether, we shall realise that the outcome of any future conflict, shall be simply determined by the superiority of the DSI one possesses. In short, the outcome of a war could even get potentially determined in the Metaverse!
While the statement made above could sound crazy and almost an impossibility to most of the people, a careful and unbiased thought into the very possibility of the outcome of future war determined in a virtual world shall give reasonable insights into the high probability of occurrence of such an eventuality. To make one understand about how and why such a possibility cannot be ruled out, we need to first define the very nature of DSI itself.
When we refer to DSI, we are talking about a technological [possibility where in conventional computers or Quantum computers of the future shall within itself generate a possibility of cognitive thinking just like we humans have. This shall be a self- evolving digital cognition whose intellectual power shall evolve at a pace that shall dwarf the collective human intellect in no time. Even if such evolutionary algorithms are generated with a cognitive capability lesser than that of humans, it could outwit the humans through the evolutionary process in no time.
Now that the definition of DSI is complete, we need to for sake of argument for the time being consider that there is a realistic possibility of creating such a self-evolving framework in a short period of time i.e five to ten years. We shall deal with the practicality of such a realistic framework separately. Since the definition and possibility of existence has been granted, let us now examine the extent of disruption it can bring to the business of warfare as we know.
If such a technology phenomenon translates into a real-life existence, the first outcome shall be Cognition delivered as a Service (CAAS). It’s akin to Cognitive capability being available on a cloud. The only difference being the fact that such capability may first overhaul the complete network & cloud as we know, to begin with. Digital Brains shall be cloned and harvested endlessly and such brains can be directed towards solving complex research problems with ability to evolve. To give analogy, modern researches are heavily dependent on complex simulations carried out by super computers. The results of these simulations are tested with real life experiments carried out by humans and then certain hypothesis and theorems are arrived at based on the findings that aligns with the simulated results.
Since Digital Super Intelligence is manifested with a far superior level of cognition, this process of simulation and testing shall get converged into a closed loop with the digital system accelerating the whole process in significantly shorter time frames. Since stabilised digital systems can easily be cloned in a digital environment knowledge sharing and evolution shall happen at lightning speed. This is the key differentiator between the pace of evolution of a human cognitive power and digital cognition.
With such prowess, the DSI can churn out newer and more potent weapon systems in no time. These weapons system designs shall also need zero human intervention and shall remain under the control of the individual/group that controls the mother network of such DSI beings in the cyber space. If the man behind the machine is taken out f the equation, then any adversary shall have a care-free doctrine of offence. If such technologies are possessed by both the warring factions, then the proficiency of the DSI shall determine the superiority of the conflict.
When we raise the intellect to such levels which the best of humans cannot even think of attaining, we must realise that these systems shall achieve their stated goals every time in the shortest and the most efficient way. On a battle front such digital intelligence systems shall be able to neutralise an enemy system precisely and accurately without any collateral damage. We have to keep in mind that post cold war every military offensive has consistently targeted the command, control, communication and leadership. So, any capability to accurately target the nerve centre of an adversary shall result in surrender and transfer of power in no time. When the collateral damages are minimised and the command and control are knocked out of the system, the control of the territory and population become that much easier.
While the picture that has been painted is pretty scary and nightmarish, most of the people would like to dismiss and take it only as a science fiction. This is where it is important to learn lessons from our history not far behind. We need to look at couple of instances in the last century where such dismissals by people in power led to their downfall and course alignment of history to where we are today.
The first instance was when Gunther Burstyn’s Motorgeschutz, a detailed concept of modern tank was rejected both by the Austria-Hungary and German Empire in 1911. It was the British and French Tanks that were far inferior to the design of Burstyn, that eventually led to the defeat of the Triple Alliance after their Defence was breached by the Metal Monsters.
The Second Instance was when young Nobel Laurette Werner Heisenberg was not given the necessary resources and backing in 1939, despite having crossed the critical threshold of splitting the atom. The Americans took the threat very seriously after Albert Einstein intervened and wrote a letter to the then American President Franklin Roosevelt. Post the unfortunate accident during a crucial experiment, the German leadership suddenly lost interest and urge to pursue to the project to its logical end. While the Germans lost out eventually to the Americans Manhattan Project in the atomic race, but it is a matter of fact that the result of WWII and that of the world would have been different had Germany been successful in its effort.
The lessons we learnt from casual dismissal of facts due to the lack of vision, understanding and over estimation of ones own capability sometimes leads to the worst of the downfalls. The collapse of the telephony giant Nokia, Blackberry & Kodak are other case studies in the last decade or so. This is why we need to take such threats from technology far too seriously failing which colonialism shall return in a much stealthier way with the rulers not being visible as they did before Independence.
The definition of technology, the need to accept the possibility of its existence and the threat posed by it have been briefly touched upon. Before we conclude we also need to delve upon the possibility of India being able to develop this technology of its own. The biggest strength of the country today is its Demography. This strength shall not remain for far too long. This is because the population growth rate of the country has drastically plummeted below the world average. While population explosion needs to be controlled, such sudden dip could also become counter productive like that of China due to its forceful implementation of ‘One Child Policy ‘. It is therefore important that the country exploits its core advantage of having a young demography by course aligning the collective intellect into Research and Development.
While the Nation has been making the right noises in this direction, even after eight years of such policy making, results are yet to be seen on critical technology fronts. Digital Super Intelligence is the only technology that cannot be developed through a joint effort with other nations. The collaborative approach is therefore futile to discuss and this is a technology that cannot be adopted directly from foreign soil. It would be akin to outsourcing the Military to a foreign power. Since the ability of a nation to assert its will and ensure Economic prosperity solely wrests in its Military Power it is needless to ponder upon such thoughts and therefore it is relatively safe to conclude that the possibility to collaborate does not exist. Such technologies should be strictly developed under a public funding and supervision and no private entities or corporates should have any sort of financial or administrative control over the development. Control of such technologies by corporate lobby could also be as detrimental as that of any adversary.
The one single technology that shall revolutionise the times to come is Digital Super Intelligence. Any other technology that is going to be developed shall take birth from the womb of this very phenomena. Be it the realisation of Quantum based technologies or cutting-edge weapons platform there shall be no domains which shall not be touched by this singular technology. After all, every single invention that humanity has seen, has been the outcome of human intellect and cognition. If there is a possibility to mimic or clone such a phenomenon in the digital space, then it has to be accepted without any second thought that such a possibility could accelerate the process of invention and innovation at a pace not witnessed since the beginning of the cosmos. The Nation therefore should understand the sensitivity and gravity of the threat posed by such a technology and commit all its resources and will, to ensure that we end this race to Intelligence singularity, in flying colours.