You might think that a crystal ball that peers into the future has no place in the army, and you’re probably wrong on that count. Darpa, the research arm of the Pentagon (with a very long reach, mind you) is currently aiming to come up with a software suite that is smart enough to predict the future for battlefield commanders. In essence, this is a digital version of a crystal ball and will be able to forecast just exactly how a mission will pan out after taking all the necessary factors into consideration. This will definitely help aid combat as there are plenty of variables to think about, helping commanders make better snap decisions.
Dubbed “Deep Green”, this three year program aims to allow the commander to think ahead and know just when a plan is going awry, with logical alternatives at hand always in order to minimize the loss of life. Should Deep Green actually become operational, other armies ought to quake with fear as they’re being outfoxed no matter what they do. In fact, Deep Green hopes to reduce the staff number to a quarter of what is required today when it comes to planning and analysis of a battle. In order to achieve this feat, Deep Green comes with six different interlocking components that allows a commander to list down options at a coarse level before adding its own thoughts to enhance the entire operation.
Deep Green will also be expected to take existing information from the battlefield to figure out the success rate of the current mission while providing different exit strategies along with the percentage of their success. This means we will probably leave the lives of valiant men of war in the hands of a computer. Hopefully Deep Green won’t disappoint when it is fully operational, but somehow I don’t think battlefield commanders can sit back and relax just yet, delegating their duties to a machine.