What the Experts are saying about Innovation in Defense for 2023

By Henry Crabtree

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In this blog, we’ll cover three of the most critical trends that are driving advancements and future plans in the defense industry. Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and the use of Big Data are key developments in sectors across the world. Leading thinkers in the public sector and defense space are convinced that these will have game-changing impacts in 2023.

Artificial Intelligence

The increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in industries across the world has followed its rapid advancements. Where earlier versions might have had limited applications, the latest use of AI technology can leverage immense computing power to aid research, decision-making, and identify inefficiencies. Across the defense industry, AI is being used to analyze vast amounts of data and make real-time recommendations based on its learning – freeing up human workload, both physical and mental, to address other issues.

The impact of generative AI technology and large language models (LLMs), such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool, may seem unfocused at present. However, new applications are emerging every day. Companies like AskSage are using the chatbot’s core features, trained on an immense set of government and defense-related data. This focus and refinement of scope claims to ‘augment human capacities by as much as 60-80% of their workload’.

While AI has the potential to revolutionize workload and processing in defense, experts have warned that using these tools may come with unnecessary risks. Speaking to the Future of Life Institute, Professor of CS & Engineering at UC Berkeley, Stuart Russell, cautioned that “narrow AI can also be dangerous if deployed in certain contexts”. The power of these AI tools will one day outweigh the risks for use in the defense sector – until then, their use should come with caution.


Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes connecting powered devices to the internet and to other networked things in order to collect, share, and better use data. While it has often been deployed in wearables, smart home, and travel tech, the IoT is now being used in military and defense contexts too.

Connecting smart sensors, ‘clever’ items, and the software behind them into defense infrastructure helps military and research arms of the industry make smarter, better-informed decisions. This Internet of Military Things (IoMT) is specifically used for combat operations and warfare.

The use of drone mapping and wearable biometric tech in both live and practice environments shows that smart tech and its development will be seen in defense situations for years to come. Scott Stapp, CTO of Northrop Grumman, has predicted: “The Internet of Military Things is the way of the future. It’s going to significantly improve the effectiveness of military operations.” The market for the IoMT was valued at $32bn USD in 2021 and is slated to reach $63bn USD billion by 2027.


Big Data

Humans create and use data in larger amounts than ever before in our digital-focused world. We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day, and developments in processing power mean that we can use this information to greater effect. Modern military and defense operations create large amounts of data that can provide valuable insights.

Smarter use of big data can be incorporated into preventative work. Organizations can Identify and track potential threats to defense – such as cyberattacks – by using vast data sets and making predictions based on patterns and indicators. Outside of predictions, tracking the data behind a supply chain can help to identify which areas:

-need more support
-are most effectively using resources
-are being disrupted

A 2022 report by CGI asked over 1,500 business and IT executives about their critical trends for the year, with a demographic across Europe and North America. The study showed that Big Data and its use consistently remained in the top 5 priorities for decision-makers in the defense and security sectors.

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Defense organizations across the globe are innovating for the future to meet the challenges of 2023 and beyond. Across AI, Internet of Things, and Big Data, these companies position themselves to address pressing concerns by using innovation to augment their existing capacity and capabilities.

The UK Ministry of Defence use innovation as a key strategy in their interactions with suppliers – being able to use Wazoku scouting features means they have found 4x the value of Royal Navy Challenges by finding companies outside of their existing network. Enabling simpler and smarter collaboration helps organizations across the public sector to lower costs, increase efficiency, and reduce risk.

By Henry Crabtree

Wazoku's Community Marketing Manager, Henry is also a life-long Manchester United fan - but we still love him, regardless. When he's not cheering the Reds on, he's working his way through an extensive reading list. Need a book recommendation? He's your man!