And the video:
Lasers seem to be the weapon of the future, don't they? A classic science fiction weapon come to life today!
But why? What is so good about a laser as weapon that science fiction authors have put it in books for years and even the navy deploys it on its ships (one warship for now).
Well, the laser obviously travels in the speed of light, which makes aiming and hitting the target much easier. Just point and shoot. Of course, its not really that simple because you have to maintain lock on your target,
The other good thing is ammo. You don't usually run out of laser ammo and even chemical lasers have cheep ammo that a ship can easily store for hundreds of shots.
Okay. and now what about drawbacks? Actually, the laser as a weapon does have a few drawbacks, which most science fiction authors would not tell you about. To create a significant effect on a large target, an enemy airplane or a missile, you need to have a laser in the kilowatt to megawatt range, which today still presents a technological problem.
So, if you have a weaker laser, you can point it at the enemy longer, thus gathering destructive energy over time. This however requires complex tracking and locating systems.
Last but no least, weather. Even for IR laser such as the Navy's LaWS, it needs a clear weather to operate. It is doubtful how much good it can do if the target hides in clouds or in a storm.
Even with these problems, the US Navy's LaWS laser is a technological breakthrough and an important new addition to the arsenal.
And what's the connection to Artificial Intelligence? There really is none, but it is a cool weapon nonetheless.
So, what is the alternative? The Ultimate weapon? The Rail Gun!