How Does Big Data Show Up in War?
Data is becoming the key to winning future wars. However, whether big data can change the rules of war is dependent on the use of the data rather than the data itself. Therefore, how data will affect war depends on how the data is exploited, how the data is used in global joint operations and full-frequency military operations, as well as how it is activated and created.
The "invisible hand" algorithm links the data. Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher, has a famous saying: "People used to collect food for a living, but now they have to re-collect information, although it seems incredible." While McLuhan did not mention military or data, his insights into data, information and social change are very advanced and quite applicable to how future wars will be fought.
Before information warfare became relevant, people rarely relied on data and information. The independent operation of various arms and services will inevitably produce a large amount of scattered data, resulting in "data pools" and "data wells". If the "data tower" cannot be connected, it will not be able to refine information and create value.
Therefore, it is essential to make the data generated by the warfare systems of different arms and units gather, link up and support global operations through integration and analysis.
The “invisible hand” algorithm also activates the data. Under the framework of global and joint operations, future battlefields will use real-time data, reconnaissance data, allegation data, and sensory data. The global distribution of data will bring unprecedented complexity to combat operations. However, transforming data advantages and information advantages into decision-making advantages and battlefield advantages will be complicated.
Algorithms and big data make battlefield data and information orderly and effective. The special information law determines the absolute value of the data, and a good algorithm can activate the data to make it valuable in combat.
In the technology-led war, almost all military operational processes are based on algorithms that establish an order behind the scenes.
Just like the recommendation algorithm, allocation algorithms, matching algorithms, blockchain technology and other related algorithms, big data processing algorithms and data transaction algorithms that dominate the social economy, military algorithms will generate serious value from data that will affect the outcome of future wars.
Finally, the “invisible hand” algorithm also creates data. In the traditional war, as a closed system, the main gathering, circulation and utilization of war is material and energy. These two basic categories have one commonality, that is, zero-sum. One of the most typical characteristics of data and information is non-zeroness.
In an open system, collection, mining, and development of data is particularly important in information warfare or intelligent warfare. Because of its uniqueness, the algorithm characterizes its defined military system through high autonomy and robustness. The military system controlled by the algorithm runs efficiently, expands in time, and is relatively stable. However, the data sets must be continually cleaned and preserved for soundness. The difference between a clean and dirty data set will be the difference in outcome of a future combat.
Through this process, military computer systems can be optimized and can create new data and information. Moreover, because the algorithm does not stop the evolution of the pace, with the rise and drive of the algorithm, the future combat mode will continue to escalate. The pace of data collection will not slow down the pace of algorithm development and vice a versa. This ability for both technologies to advance while not negatively affecting the other will allow for great advancement in the military technological complex.