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Insights for the Third Offset: Addressing Challenges of Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence in Military Operations

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Technical Report

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Center for Naval Analyses Arlington United States

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CNA conducts analysis for the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense DOD, and other sponsors, ranging across policy, strategy, organizational processes, technical performance of military systems, and current operations. Because of the expected impact of autonomy and artificial intelligence AI to the character of warfare, CNA has created a Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence to focus on these emerging technologies and their significant role in U.S. defense policy and all the military services. The Center combines CNAs strengths and experience in conducting objective analysis of U.S. military operations with focused expertise in autonomy and other aspects of AI. This report, the first created by the new Center, takes lessons and insights from CNAs body of work for the Navy and the joint force, including CNAs field program of embedded analysts in military commands around the world. Though much of the emerging technology examined in this report is new, the approach of applying lessons from U.S. operations and institutional processes to key challenges in leveraging autonomy and AI continues CNAs applied research paradigm of exploring many opportunities to resolve or work around challenges that have been seen before. The aim of this report is to anticipate challenges of Third Offset implementation based on past lessons, and then provide concrete recommendations for promoting the effective incorporation of autonomy, AI, and related technologies in U.S. military operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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