A $10 billion “war cloud” contract will be awarded to the company that is able to produce the best pitch at the end of August. Both Amazon and Microsoft are expected to be bidding for this contract, also known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI).
The JEDI plan is intended as a way to cloud compute warfare, improving upon national security and war strategy. Artificial intelligence and cloud computing will work together to help the country strategize during times of war, producing effective and accurate methods of limiting damage and meeting strategic objectives.
Amazon Expected to Take the Prize
Amazon’s AWS has become one of the most popular cloud-computing environments, and Amazon has already been contracted to create a system for the CIA. This has led to some accusations of favoritism regarding the US government. Recently, Oracle has accused the government of specifically designing the criteria of the JEDI to suit Amazon’s capabilities. However, it can also be argued that Amazon is uniquely well-suited to the military’s needs.
Despite this, Microsoft may still stand a chance. Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services have also been growing in strength, and Microsoft has also secured military contracts recently with Microsoft HoloLens. If Microsoft is able to win this contract, it could be a very positive development for its competitive cloud resources.
Bringing Machine Learning AI to the Military
The “war cloud” will crunch large volumes of data from confidential documents, looking for patterns and improving decision-making across the military infrastructure. Cloud-based, machine learning systems are able to learn over time, becoming more accurate and yielding better results as they go.
Machine learning systems take large sets of historic data and then analyze them for patterns; patterns that are often not visible to the human eye. A machine learning system will be fed specific data sets, related to military Intel and tactics, which will then be used to analyze current data for results. Over time, these results will be tweaked for accuracy and relevancy, and the machine will start to learn.
With the right technology, a war cloud will make it possible for the country to run detailed, accurate simulations of potential government actions, assessing situations more fully before they emerge.
When conflicts do emerge, a war cloud simulation can be used to determine specific courses of action, using patterns and historical data to derive the most likely results.
Artificial intelligence, when powered by the cloud, can perform extreme computations, assessments, and predictions that human cannot. Over time, a military AI could become a significant asset, performing actions such as estimating the strength of other military forces and predicting the locations of other military units.
AI Systems Could Be the Future of War
If used properly, these AI systems could substantially reduce the risk of conflict impacting citizens or unnecessary violence and disruption. AI systems can be used to predict casualties, avoiding any unnecessary conflicts.
Historically, the military has often used woefully outdated software solutions for the majority of its systems, both for the purposes of security and because it’s extremely difficult to deploy large technology updates over such a significant cyber landscape.
Moving ahead with cloud-based, AI-driven technology could be an excellent step in the right direction for the US military, and it could ultimately make the military itself more streamlined and optimized. Moving forward, the military could see cloud-based, AI-based procurement and deployment strategies as well, which could drastically reduce the amount of money the military needs to spend maintaining its systems.
At the end of August, the $10 billion contract will be awarded. While $10 billion may not be all that much to either Amazon or Microsoft, it’s a solid indicator of things to come. While Amazon appears to be sure winner of this battle, Microsoft’s technology has also improved significantly under CEO Sadya Natella.
Either way, both these cloud services are likely to continue competing for market share. Amazon Web Services once consistently dominated the space, and Microsoft Azure continues to grow in leaps and bounds, especially with the popular adoption of Microsoft Office 365 for business owners.