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Sunday, Feb 25, 2024

Israel Utilizes AI Military Technology in Gaza Conflict

For the first time in a conflict setting, Israel has utilized AI-driven military technology in Gaza.
This deployment includes tools for above and underground operations, according to Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari.

The technology in question has capabilities like neutralizing enemy drones and mapping out Hamas’s extensive tunnel network.

Senior defense officials described Israel’s use of AI-augmented gunsights and robotic drones to combat these threats—a silver lining for the nation's tech sector, which makes up 18 percent of the GDP despite the war's disruptions, including the conscription of 8 percent of the tech workforce.

Avi Hasson of Startup Nation Central highlighted that the conflict has allowed for field-testing of novel tech in both military and healthcare settings.

However, Human Rights Watch's Mary Wareham emphasized the need for stricter control over such technologies, citing the rising civilian casualties in Gaza. The United Nations has also voiced concerns over the ethics and implications of AI and autonomous weaponry.

Hamas's October 7th assault on Israel, utilizing drones for explosive attacks, prompted a significant Israeli response. Israel reports losing civil lives and continuing captivity of citizens in Gaza.

On the other hand, Gaza's Ministry of Health reports a high casualty toll from Israel's military actions, with a disproportionate impact on women and children.

Israeli startups like Smart Shooter have developed AI-enabled optics for rifles, equipping soldiers to counter drone threats more effectively. Israel has also introduced innovative countermeasures against drones, such as net-carrying drones described humorously as "Angry Birds" by defense officials.

Key to Israel's strategy is mapping Hamas's extensive tunnel network, coined the "Gaza Metro." Advanced drones equipped to function underground have been used, with companies like Robotican providing technology previously unsuitable for subterranean operations.

While the conflict spotlights human rights issues, it also positions Israel as a leading innovator in military technology, as recognized by partners like the United States, which integrates similar tech into its defense training.

Overall, the situation underscores a technological evolution in warfare tactics, met with both tactical gains and ethical challenges.

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