Ukrainian soldier

How Ukraine is Using AI to Fight Russia

April 08, 2024
The Economist

This is a summary of an article originally published by The Economist under the title "How Ukraine is Using AI to Fight Russia."


The author writes:

  • Algorithms created by Open Minds Institute (OMI) sifted through oceans of Russian social-media content and socioeconomic data on things ranging from alcohol consumption and population movements to online searches and consumer behavior. The AI correlated any changes with the evolving sentiments of Russian “loyalists” and liberals over the potential plight of their country’s soldiers. This highly sensitive work continues to shape important Ukrainian decisions about the course of the war, says Sviatoslav Hnizdovsky, the founder of the OMI. This includes potential future strikes on Russia’s Kerch Bridge, which is the only direct land link between Russia and Crimea.
  • Ukraine, outgunned by Russia, is increasingly seeking an edge with AI by employing the technology in diverse ways. A Ukrainian colonel involved in arms development says drone designers commonly query ChatGPT as a “start point” for engineering ideas, like novel techniques for reducing vulnerability to Russian jamming. Another military use for AI, says the colonel, who requested anonymity, is to identify targets. 
    • Targeting is being assisted by AI in other ways. SemanticForce, a firm with offices in Kyiv and Ternopil, a city in the west of Ukraine, develops models that in response to text prompts scrutinizes online or uploaded text and images. Molfar uses the model to map areas where Russian forces are likely to be low on morale and supplies, which could make them a softer target. 
    • The AI .. also cobbles together clues about Russian military weaknesses using a sneaky proxy. For this, Molfar employs SemanticForce’s AI to generate reports on the activities of Russian volunteer groups that fundraise and prepare care packages for the sections of the front most in need. 
    • The use of AI helps Ukraine’s spycatchers identify people who Oleksiy Danilov, until recently secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), describes as “prone to betrayal.”

Read the full article on The Economist website.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author. Photo by the US Department of Defense shared under a public license.