When reflecting on his service as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan a decade ago, Brandon Tseng pondered why he and his team didn’t have a way to see inside the buildings they were planning to attack, thus minimizing the risk […]
When reflecting on his service as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan a decade ago, Brandon Tseng pondered why he and his team didn’t have a way to see inside the buildings they were planning to attack, thus minimizing the risk of deadly traps. He shared this dilemma with his brother Ryan, a tech expert who had invented a wireless phone charger while in college. After Brandon left the military, he joined forces with his brother to find ways to apply technology to national security challenges, eventually leading them to their “aha” moment.
The field of artificial intelligence, which was rapidly advancing at the time, could be applied to rapidly developing hardware such as drones to transform the way they are utilized during warfare, like deploying an autonomous vehicle for reconnaissance inside a building before troops enter. Even combat aircraft could be turned into robotized drones controlled by artificial intelligence.
Founded by the Tseng brothers in 2015, Shield AI is now valued at $2.7 billion, according to venture capital investors’ estimates. The company employs 625 people across Texas, California, Virginia, and Abu Dhabi. The Tseng brothers’ work has already yielded concrete results, with one of their early products being utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces immediately after coordinated attacks by Hamas last month.
According to the company, Israeli forces used the small Shield AI drone, known as Nova 2, to search buildings targeted by Hamas attacks, in search of hidden attackers and civilian casualties. The Nova 2 drone can autonomously conduct surveillance inside multi-story buildings or even underground complexes without relying on GPS or a human pilot.
Shield AI is one of several startup companies demonstrating the potential of modern technologies in revolutionizing warfare tools and assisting the United States in maintaining its military advantage over China.
– What is a drone?
A drone is an aircraft that is remotely piloted or operates autonomously, meaning it doesn’t require a human pilot onboard.
– How does artificial intelligence technology work in this context?
Artificial intelligence utilizes algorithms and computational power to collect, analyze, and interpret data in order to make decisions and take actions based on that data. In this context, artificial intelligence is used to enable unmanned aircraft to conduct reconnaissance inside complex structures before soldiers enter.
– What is Shield AI’s objective?
Shield AI aims to apply artificial intelligence technology to national security challenges, including the development of autonomous drones capable of conducting reconnaissance and surveillance in military operations.