Future Operating Environment

Intellectual Preparation for Future War: How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Professional Military Education by MAJGEN Mick Ryan via War on the Rocks

By Mick Ryan May 14, 2019

 Click here to access the article

In this article by Major General (MAJGEN) Mick Ryan, he explores how military organisations need to prepare their people intellectually in order to be capable of employing artificial intelligence (AI) in future wars and how professional military education (PME) will be impacted. In the first part of the article MAJGEN Ryan examines the military potential of AI, highlighting that a principal reason for AI within militaries is to deal with the convergence of the numerous sensors, communications networks and the speed of data and information that require processing. He highlights that AI is capable of synthesising information to enable faster and more effective decision making than the human mind. MAJGEN Ryan discusses the importance of educating personnel in AI given the likelihood of its proliferation within military decision making. He stresses that an AI literacy capability will be required by all members of the military and that this needs to commence at the early stages of training and continue through out service. The article also considers the potential AI offers in changing the methods of military education, suggesting scenarios such as AI as a 'lifelong learning partner', as a collaborative learning tool and for advanced simulations in PME.  MAJGEN Ryan then explores how education and AI can assist in concept development through human-machine and human-AI teaming. He also examines how experimentation leads to reforms in equipment and force structure as well as personnel and career management structures; where AI makes capabilities or categories redundant. The article concludes by reiterating the importance of military personnel needing to be literate in AI and how this will require education through the PME system, thereby building an intellectual edge over our future adversaries.   



Mick Ryan

Major General Mick Ryan is interested in intellectually preparing our people for strategic competition and future conflict.

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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