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THE FUTURE OF WAR TECHNOLOGY WHISPERS TO US FROM THE PAST, AND WE MUST LISTEN BETTER

Tuesday, December 3, 2019   (0 Comments)

By Alexander Kott  |  December 3, 2019  |  War on the Rocks

 

Trying to anticipate the future of technology is a fool’s errand, is it not? After all, even Dr. Vannevar Bush, a renowned architect of the American science establishment, predicted back in 1945 that intercontinental missiles would be impossible for many years. And Thomas Watson, the President of IBM (yes, the artificial intelligence system “Watson” was named after him), is said to have predicted in 1943 that there would be a world market for maybe five computers. The list of laughably wrong predictions about future technologies is endless. Surely we should not be too hard on ourselves when ambitious weapon programs keep failing because, in part, the necessary technology turns out to be too far away. How could we know?

I disagree. The future of military technologies — with implications for the future of the warfare itself — is not an unknowable and random mystery. Granted, examples of erroneous forecasts are numerous. And yet, quantitative research shows that the accuracy of predictions in military technologies — even long-term predictions looking 30 years into the future — are correct surprisingly often, about 70-80 percent of the time. Even the numerical measures of systems’ performance grow over time in a fairly consistent, reasonably predictable manner — the figure above is but one example. READ MORE...


With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.