Tactical and Technical

Are 'Warbots' Changing the Future of Warfare?

By The Cove May 15, 2019


For anyone that has ever watched Arnold Schwarzenegger in the iconic movie series 'The Terminator,' it would not be unreasonable to have some fears associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) bringing abut the destruction of the human race. However, with every passing year, there are more advances in robotics technology which provide opportunities to shape the nature of conflict on the modern battlefield.

This article by Brian Michelson via The Strategy Bridge discusses that we are relatively accepting of warbots in roles such as reconnaissance, selective strike and logistics support, however there remains a level of discomfort with incorporating warbots into primary combat roles. He explains that in many military scenarios, humans are the limiting performance factor, as employing human beings within certain decision loops actually degrades the quality of the system and slows reaction times down.

The author also raises the critical point that human beings aren't expendable, however warbots could potentially be developed in this manner. He indicates that the nature of war has not changed and that whilst war is enabled by weapons, it is ultimately won or lost by the decisions and actions of human beings. Read the article and join our discussion on the following:

  • What areas do you see warbots having a crucial impact in the way the Australian Army operates?
  • What developments do you think are possible in then next 10-15 years?
  • Where is the 'sweet spot' between human and AI interoperability that will allow us to maximise the abilities of both?
  • Are there any areas of warfare that you believe AI has no place in?




The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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