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Artificial Intelligence Will Build the Wall

Using artificial intelligence to protect our borders trumps using physical infrastructure

Written by Alexandra Perry
Posted March 1, 2017

"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively — I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."

Donald Trump has been president for 40 days. For some people, it feels like a lifetime; for others, things are just getting started.

But no matter what political party you belong to, everyone was listening for one topic in Trump’s Congress address: the Wall.

Trump’s “Wall” — a structure that would effectively barricade 1,900 miles of American soil — remains shrouded in mysticism.

Is it literal?

Is it metaphorical?

Or was it just an empty promise used to lure immigration-focused voters into Trump’s hands?

Not even Republicans seem to have a resolute answer.

But now, at day 40, Trump is still standing by his wall... even though the cost is astronomically outside of original quotes.

To build a wall, American taxpayers would foot a $15 billion bill — that is a whopping $16 million a mile. And that quote doesn’t even factor in long-term costs: infrastructure maintenance, staffing, natural disasters...

Ouch.

But experts are saying there is a way around a physical structure — a more cost-efficient and effective option.

That option is artificial intelligence.

We have entered a digital age. We can rely on drones, motion control sensors, biometrics, and artificial intelligence to protect our borders in a way that physical infrastructure cannot.

And 2017 has already been a great year for artificial intelligence. The major tech companies are acquiring AI at a rapid rate. The technology is expected to improve dynamically in the coming years.

The total value of AI enterprise application is expected to soar past $30 billion by 2025.

So why shouldn’t the Trump administration use AI if its goal is to keep Americans safe?

Some AI applications have already been used to successfully protect borders. Just look at the EdgeVis Shield, a self-healing, ground-based platform used to detect any kind of activity. The EdgeVis Shield was used in Afghanistan and could differentiate between vehicles and people.

And then there is machine learning. Machine learning is booming in Silicon Valley as companies rush to develop tech that “learns without being explicitly programmed.”

When it comes to border protection, machine learning would prove invaluable. It would use previously collected data to predict future border breaches. And then we can prevent them.

Whether or not Trump will incorporate AI into his border protection plans has not been settled. But with Peter Thiel and other tech moguls whispering in his ear, there is a large possibility that the president will give up on the antiquated physical wall.

And AI will be the logical alternative.

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