AI

U.S. Navy Uses Metal Gear Solid Box Gimmick in Real-World Maneuvers

Several American soldiers test the limits of artificial intelligence by confronting it with Hideo Kojima's strategies.

It was Aristotle who said that art imitates life, but there are times when the opposite seems to be true. In this case, eight U.S. Marines imitated Snake, the protagonist of the Metal Gear Solid saga, and overcame a military challenge by hiding under a cardboard box, a maneuver present in every single game in the franchise. And strangely enough, while it doesn't usually work in those games, it does in real life. Kojima would be proud.

In Paul Scharre's forthcoming book, Four Battlegrounds, the author addresses the issue of artificial intelligence in the military and tells the story of how the U.S. Marine Corps improved its enemy detection systems. At first, it was what you would expect in the 21st century (i.e., analysis via telematics, collecting data and making adjustments), but at a certain point, the strategy became one of thinking outside the box (and never better said). In other words, confronting the AI in person with improvised and original tactics meant taking advantage of the hours spent playing Metal Gear Solid.

"Eight Marines - not a single one got detected," Scharre recounts in the pages of his novel. "They defeated the AI system not with traditional camouflage, but with clever tricks that were outside of the AI system’s testing regime. Two somersaulted for 300 meters; never got detected. Two hid under a cardboard box. You could hear them giggling the whole time. One guy, my favorite, he fieldstripped a fir tree and walked like a fir tree. You can see his smile and that’s about all you see. The AI system had been trained to detect humans walking, not humans somersaulting, hiding in a cardboard box, or disguised as a tree.”

Look what a visionary Kojima is, he even introduced the Box of Love in Peace Walker, a cardboard box big enough for two soldiers to use at the same time. Let's hope he only got that right and not the walking nukes...

Source | Kotaku