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10 March 2023

Recommended Innovation Articles (and Commentary) 16: ‘Fighting Artificial Intelligence Battles’- Latest Australian Defence Force Thinking

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Original post can be found here: https://benzweibelson.medium.com/recommended-innovation-articles-and-commentary-16-fighting-artificial-intelligence-battles-1d8e7c88d6e

Today’s article is a bit on the long side (a 100 page monograph), but worth printing and reading at your leisure. The good news is that there is NO PAYWALL and you can download it right here:

https://defence.gov.au/ADC/Publications/Joint_Studies4.asp

The author, Dr. Peter Layton, is a friend and outstanding military academic from “down under”, and produced this monograph for the ADF. This white paper is titled “Fighting Artificial Intelligence Battles: Operational Concepts for Future AI-Enabled Wars”- and is Joint Studies Paper Series №4 for the Australian Department of Defence, publishing in 2021. So, this is quite recent and most applicable to contemporary AI, human-machine teaming, and related discussions across the international defense enterprise.

This monograph walks readers through the contemporary AI debate in future warfare, with a nice introduction on what AI is, how it features “humans in the loop, on the loop, or outside the loop”, and then frames the AI endeavors of serious adversaries such as China (p. 27). Layton goes into remarkable detail on AI and sea-based warfare concepts (p.40–41), and chapter 4 goes onto AI for land warfare concepts (p.53 onward). Chapter 5 gives the AI treatment to Air (p. 67 onward), with a short conclusion on pp. 83–86.

It is a worthy document for those interested in AI, human-machine teaming, and considerations across the primary terrestrial domains on warfare and AI. Layton’s treatment of each terrestrial domain is valuable to land forces, naval, and air forces; and the ever-popular Joint and Coalition variations therein.

Where this leaves us hanging is space… which is not anything lacking from the author’s intent- just that the space domain is so new and AI advancing so rapidly that we ought to now start the necessary considerations for how space, cyberspace, and space-terrestrial domains (air, land, sea) coupled with policy, economics, information and society will play in this dynamic, ill-structured future. Note that Dr. Layton does discuss some high altitude and space topics within the air treatment of chapter 5.

But don’t worry, as I know of several new publication developments that I am involved with or supporting where AI will be examined further with how it enables the space domain, and also cyberspace, special operations, and several other emerging concerns.

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