US Special Operations Command is shifting its focus to creating hyper-enabled operators with omniscience-like capabilities, using AI and instant translators to counter high-tech adversaries like China and Russia.
The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is shifting its focus from Iron Man-like exoskeletons to hyper-enabled operators with something like omniscience. This change reflects SOCOM’s changing expectations about where its operators will be and what roles they will play. Operators on future missions, especially ones to build partner capacity, will likely lack some crucial tools of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, such as missile-armed drones overhead. Artificial intelligence will play a big role in creating always-on advisors in an operator’s ear or sightline, and SOCOM is working on an instant translator that doesn’t require the internet to operate. In some tech realms, SOCOM is playing catch-up to China and Russia and is increasing its rate of innovation to counter high-tech adversaries.