Artificial intelligence is reshaping the modern warfare market

AI applications are growing exponentially as this technology becomes more and more efficient. The modern warfare market is also been affected by this phenomenon in ways that promise to re-shape it entirely in the next few years.

Like many fields where technology is particularly relevant to spark new growth, the Modern Warfare Market is starting to increasingly rely on artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

War has always been a driving force for countries to develop new technologies to get the upper hand on the battlefield, and artificial intelligence is now part of that process too.

In fact, AI has been already used by the US military to develop image-recognition software for military drones, and the British Army has successfully trialled robots able to scans battlefields for hidden attackers.

The figures: a steep growth

A report released by Industry Research in May forecasted a quick curve of growth of global artificial intelligence applications in modern warfare.

According to the research, this market was valued at USD 1036.584 million in 2018, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 7687.182 million by 2024. This would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.25% during 2019-2024.

The AI arms race

The forecasted data shows China at the forefront of AI investment and growth in the future, with the country set to become the world leader in this field by 2030.

However, as far as current figures are concerned, the US seems to be currently winning the artificial intelligence arms race.

The Industry Research data reveals how the US Department of Defense has requested approximately USD 9.39 billion for unmanned systems and related technologies in the 2019 budget, including funding for 3,447 new air, ground, and sea drones.

This would represent a significant increase in drone spending over the FY 2018 requested budget, which was worth USD 7.5 billion in drone-related spending for 807 drones.

Furthermore, in recent years, the Pentagon has been investing (over USD 100 million) in developing Project Maven, an artificial intelligence program addressing autonomy and artificial intelligence.

Analysing Data

According to the report, the reasons behind the global growth of artificial intelligence in the modern warfare market focus on three main trends.

The first one would be a growing demand to counter mass destructive weapons. As countries like North Korea are increasing their nuclear weapons testing, many governments are ready to invest substantial resources to counter this phenomenon.

The second driving factor in the expansion of global AI military applications would be related to the rise of extremist organizations across different continents. To tackle the activities of terrorist groups such as ISIS, the use of  AI technologies has been increasing considerably, particularly in the fields of counter-terrorism and defence activities.

Finally, AI ethics is also driving market expansion. As countries struggle in understanding the implication of this technology on a larger scale, several leading human rights organizations argue that the use of weapons such as armed drones will lead to an increase in civilian deaths and unlawful killings. To counter this issue, for example, the US DoD has been recently looking for an ethicist to guide the deployment of AI in future applications of this technology.

Where does this data come from?

Industry Research compiled this report to provide investors, founders and politicians with more awareness when considering a business or policy decision.

However, as shown above with the DoD increased spending on AI, the report itself is ultimately a collection of data.

Collecting and breaking down this data is fundamental in order to create a coherent picture of trends and events. And if AI is increasingly performant in military application, there’s no doubt that its forte is still sifting through billions of data pieces to find patterns that can mean something to someone.

As far as the Industry Research report is concerned, these down below are certain events the company has used to reach the coherent conclusion that AI in Modern Warfare is indeed growing.


  • In April 2019, Boeing has completed 96 flights testing the performance of the 737 Max with updated software for the plane’s flight control system. The test flights are one prong of a broad effort by Boeing to get the Max back in the air.
  • In March 2019 – The US Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground has awarded General Dynamics Mission Systems a contract to provide electronic and cyber warfare capabilities to the US Army Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors.
  • In August 2018, Intel bought artificial intelligence startup, manufacturers of a portable deep learning engine called PlaidML. The acquisition represented Intel’s intent and efforts to win the AI chip war.

The power of data is growing exponentially as artificial intelligence becomes more and more proficient at recognising valuable patterns. What’s your take on the AI arms race? And where do you think AI can more proficiently make a difference for businesses? Let us know in the comments down below.

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