In this article, first published in War on the Rocks, Major General (MAJGEN) Mick Ryan 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 to incorperate 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, if armies are to build an intellectual edge over their future adversaries.