The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have significantly increased their operational capacity in the Gaza Strip, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to identify targets.
This technological advancement has allowed the IDF to escalate from identifying 50 targets per year to an astounding 100 targets per day.
The AI system, known as "The Gospel," has been instrumental in this change. Developed for modern warfare, it plays a central role in the Israeli military's target selection process.
The system's efficiency is such that insiders have compared its output to a "factory of mass murder," as reported by The Guardian. This description comes from a combination of intelligence sources, statements from the IDF, and comments from retired officials.
The Gospel's capability to recommend targets for attack, such as private residences of Hamas or Islamic Jihad members, has been confirmed by various sources. The IDF has built a database of approximately 40,000 suspected militants, from which The Gospel creates lists of approved military targets.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who stepped down in January, has openly discussed the use of AI in target selection. He revealed that an AI system was activated during the 11-day war against Hamas in 2021, generating 100 targets daily, a stark contrast to the 50 targets identified annually in previous years.
The rapid identification and targeting process, however, raise concerns about the potential for increased civilian casualties.
The use of complex and opaque AI systems in warfare presents risks, particularly in densely populated areas like Gaza. Experts and human rights advocates have expressed skepticism regarding claims that AI systems like The Gospel reduce civilian casualties through more precise targeting.
IDF's target division was established to address the issue of running out of targets during operations in Gaza. With the introduction of AI systems like The Gospel, the IDF can now locate and eliminate a greater number of Hamas fighters.
However, this technological advancement comes with ethical and humanitarian considerations. The use of AI in warfare raises questions about the balance between military efficiency and the protection of civilian lives.
The Israeli military has emphasized its commitment to international law and precautions to avoid civilian harm, but the increased use of AI in target selection remains a contentious and closely monitored aspect of modern warfare.