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From Tools to Teammates

20 September 2021

Human Machine Teaming and the Future of Command and Control in the Australian Army

Australian Army Occasional Paper No. 7

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In 2018, the Australian Army launched its Robotic and Autonomous Systems Strategy to capitalise on the military opportunities presented by the much-anticipated ‘fourth industrial revolution’ in artificial intelligence and machine learning software. The key to realising this potential lies in the effective integration of soldiers and autonomous systems, known as human-machine teaming. Through human-machine teaming, military automation is predicted to radically reshape the conduct of war, with substantial implications for the future of command and control. However, such visions depend not just on the technical capabilities of new autonomous systems, but also on the choices soldiers make about how to use them.

In the recently published Occasional Paper ‘From Tools to Teammates: Human-Machine Teaming and the Future of Command and Control in the Australian Army’, the authors explore the compatibility of emerging concepts of human-machine teaming with existing Australian Army culture and practices, drawing on interviews with serving officers and focusing specifically on the implications for military command and control. The paper assesses the risks and opportunities arising from automation for future concepts, doctrine development and organisational change.

The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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