Artificial intelligence is a “crucial part of defence”, Singapore’s Chief Defence Scientist has said, and it will be one of the key tech trends for the future.

“Moving ahead, we will have to integrate a lot more intelligence into how we operationalise, into how we manage our systems, [and] how we conduct our missions,” Quek Gim Pew told a media briefing in response to questions from GovInsider.

AI is useful in handling of huge amounts of data from sensor networks, he added. “Every sensor now gives a lot more data. You can’t quite process this using traditional means, so that’s where AI has to come in,” he said.

AI also has potential to single out meaningful and useful information from noise picked up by defence systems. “It’s not just whether you’ve got the best systems that can see the furthest or react the fastest, but how do you actually make sense of what is happening?”, Quek said. Otherwise, “you can end up at a stage where you are overwhelmed with data”.

“Moving ahead, there’s a lot more intelligence that you can extract out of the systems that we have,” he added.

But sensor networks “can present both a strength as well as a weakness”, he cautioned. The networks allows officials to command, control and communicate with systems across the organisation, but without adequate security “you can attack any asset through the network as well”.

“So while we will continue to better network our resources, we have to pay a lot more attention to how we secure our networks,” Quek said.

Now read: Inside’s Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency

Image by Staff Sgt. Brian FergusoCC0 Public Domain