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Why the DoD is Losing Its Asymmetric Robotics and Autonomous Systems Advantage: An Argument for the Concept of Autonomous Functioning Within a System

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Technical Report,14 Aug 2017,15 Jun 2018

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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As outlined in the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and the Third Offset Strategy, the Department of Defense DoD is attempting to rapidly develop, acquire, and field increasingly autonomous technology in order to gain an asymmetric advantage over peer competitors. Issues with policy, doctrine, leadership, and acquisition are preventing the DoD from achieving these goals. The DoD lacks a conceptual framework that describes the physical and cognitive ways that humans and machines interact. This has resulted in leadership focusing on retaining humans in essential roles rather than capitalizing on the abilities that human machine teams provide. The private sector is developing information technology at a rate that the DoD is unable to keep pace with. The result that the private sector is increasingly driving the DoDs requirements based on available Commercial technology. This results in a technology gap between the DoDs required capabilities and those that are readily available to all parties within the commercial sector. The authors hypothesis is that the DoD could rapidly develop, acquire, and integrate RAS to retain a competitive advantage by re-framing the way that they conceptualize and define AI and autonomy in the realms of policy, doctrine, leadership, and materiel.

Subject Categories:

  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems
  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Cybernetics
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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