Military officials and industry experts have long discussed how artificial intelligence can benefit the warfighter. The technology promises to crunch mountains of data into easily digestible bites of actionable information and to predict when parts on a vehicle are about to wear out.
However, there has been less emphasis on how it can improve modeling and simulations for training purposes — a market area that is becoming increasingly important as service leaders across the board call for more investment to improve readiness.
During the recent National Training and Simulation Association’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, military officials and industry experts discussed the benefits of applying the emerging technology to such scenarios.
Retired Rear Adm. James Robb, president of NTSA, the host of I/ITSEC and an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association, said there was a strong emphasis during the show on big data and artificial intelligence.
“What we’re really studying is how we can … bring data that’s collected from training exercises and bring it back in to replay, improve performance and give feedback to the trainees,” he said. “The emphasis is improving the training in whatever way we can with data analysis.”
Tony Cerri, director of data science, models and simulations at U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G2, said industry must begin incorporating artificial intelligence into modeling and simulation.
“This is going to differentiate our efforts from folks like … [Russian President Vladimir] Putin — who says that AI is the next battlefield and he plans to own it by 2030 — or the Chinese who are pouring phenomenal amounts of money into big data and AI.”
Because of the data-intensive nature of modeling and simulation, those working in the field already have an acute understanding of how to work with gobs of information and are well suited to take advantage of new technologies, he noted.
“If we can marry big data and AI with [modeling and simulation] … that’s an unbeatable advantage for not only the nation but our DoD and where we’re trying to go,” Cerri said. “I’m really excited about the potential here.”
Young Bang, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, said more countries around the world — particularly Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates — are investing in such technologies.
Those three countries have all published their national strategies in artificial intelligence. By 2030 they each want to be the world leader in AI, he noted.