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Israeli army announces radical new Google Maps alternative


Imagine a tourist arriving in a foreign city. The Israeli Intel officer told me, the first thing they do is open Google Maps and look for a restaurant. Google will help you find the location. Helps you navigate. Help them get there on time. We do the same. Well, not really. The augmented reality mapping application described by Lieutenant-Colonel N is designed to find hidden terrorists, not restaurants. He tells me that mistakes can be fatal, we need to build the right house on the right street.

Welcome to the battlefield of the future Artificial intelligence, multi-source data fusion, augmented reality. Everything is edge based and real time. Although this isn’t really a battlefield. What happened to us, what happened to us was that our enemies adopted technology that fused to the urban areas populated by civilians, we pinpoint the enemy and stop the threat. is needed.

So now you start taking pictures. Think of Google Street View instead of Google. And augmented reality overlays, created by the fusion of multiple sources of highly sensitive information, are not big technology cloud servers. If that’s not enough, AI will perform pattern analysis on previous enemy tactics, techniques, and steps to guess hidden enemies, which may then be done in real time.

This is military augmented reality, not unique Such systems are in development. Game-style headsets overlay friendly fighters to help with targeting and blue-on-blue avoidance. However, Israel’s new system is different. Augmented reality comes from the fusion of multiple Intel sources. The intention is not to present an advanced gaming-style view of the battlefield to ground forces, but to use live data to infer where the actual target is hiding.

This Street View looks like the screenshot, but no screenshot. The arrows and graphics explain to ground soldiers why a third-floor apartment with a wrought-iron balcony is considered a hostile environment, and anyone leaving the building is considered a combatant. The intent is to eradicate the threat, but it also aims to keep others safe and prevent collateral damage. Lt-Col N says you need to make sure that you only target invaders and not civilians.

The idea of ​​this Israeli saturated battle is ten years old. The new program is located within the visual intelligence operations (maps, satellite images, image analysis, etc.) within Aman, a sister unit of the 9900 units, the National Military Intelligence Agency, and the more famous 8200 Signal Intelligence Unit. Unit 9900 generated headlines a few years ago when it was reported that it was recruiting autistic teens for their unique analytical skillset.

As Lt-Col N describes his team’s work, developing the most realistic 3D mapping possible, he constantly refers to the modern explorer’s view of the world of Google Maps, its sense of familiarity. doing. Yes, the location may be strange, but the point of view is well known and understandable in absolute real time. He says something that needs to be built with that user experience means that soldiers crossing the border for the first time need to be accustomed to the environment.


This intelligence-saturated point of view can be presented to soldiers on smartphones and tablets on almost any off-the-shelf Android, or streamed directly to binoculars or weapons sites. Lt-Col N has taught me how to get to Intel’s view, their C2 system in real time, although I don’t know where Intel came from. The officer emphasizes that all targeting is done by soldiers on the ground, not the system itself. This is an aid, not an automated targeting system.

The challenges that the new unit has overcome, according to Im, include distilling this terabyte into useful and relevant ones, or pattern analysis, the role of AI, every terabyte. The window is short. Soldiers are given 5-10 seconds to determine all the actions they take. They are trained in the field with technology and their feedback polishes the program itself, what further develops and what should be discarded.

Basically, if you put the complexity on one side, this is a 3D photorealistic map, the backbone to build that area and information in real time to understand what the enemy is doing in real time. is. By mining data from previous fighting experiences, AI can recognize enemy behavior patterns and understand where they are and what they are planning. It is overlaid with real-time Intel containing open source data about terrain and environment.

Last year there was a lot of talk about cyber attacks and the fusion of the physical realm. In particular, Israel became the first country to begin physical and military response to cyber attacks. A few weeks later, the US did the opposite. This new concept of a saturated intelligence battlefield can leverage cyber domains to feed troops on the ground directly. Those same soldiers are piled up on sensors, all feeding back to a central intelligence system.

Lt-Col N refers to an enemy that often disappears. He refers to the shadow of a city, where combatants and civilians are mixed, the likely disaster. Yes, this new style of AR combat aims to sharpen the reaction, but also to avoid mistakes. Police officers explain that the display of the AR provides enough information to help soldiers understand why the location was considered hostile.

Lim said the new program within Unit 9900 has become a breeding ground for development and has learned that approach from industry. Inside the collaborative lab are Intel, combat forces, cyber, communications, Israeli darpa equivalents, defense contractors, and even start-ups. If something new is envisioned, a prototype will be created and given to the Army for ground testing. Their feedback hone their abilities or outsource it to bins.

The military world has changed, L-Col N said, we had to imagine new combat methods as much as possible, using tools created outside the defense industry. We take in as much private and open source as possible and access research worldwide to deliver cutting-edge products.

Im says Israel is accepting that milspec isn’t the best reason for not being connected to the billions of investments accumulated in mapping and AR and AI, and diverts these capabilities to this end. did. Google makes the user experience as simple as possible. Google Maps is a great model for seeing the world as a tourist, understanding what you are seeing, and understanding where you are going.

This new program is now ripe for international collaboration. Our discussions with the various countries fighting terrorism around the world show that the enemies they are hiding in the urban environment face the same threat. This concept is powered by AI and integrates Quick Intel connected to precise mapping. It’s that innovation.

Of course, there are no details of other countries using this technology. Of course, there are no highly classified Intel source details. This is a real-time bridge between Intel and the soldiers. Intel wants to keep secrets and combat operators want it in real time. Testing of new features began this year.

This IDF program can be added to many new AI, IoT, and AR systems being procured and developed by military customers around the world. The concept of real-time Intel real-time delivery from multiple sources, such as soldier C2 and tourist attractions, is novel. The challenge here is that soldiers must remain decision makers. With the implication that targeting is automated, the military world changes and there is no turning back.

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