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Army to start using Artificial Intelligence in next 2-3 years: South Western Army commander

South Western Army commander Lt. Gen Alok Singh Kler says Army will first use AI in a constructive capacity before using it for destructive capabilities.

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Hisar: The South Western Army commander Lt Gen. Alok Singh Kler Wednesday said the Army will start using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the next two or three years in a constructive as well as destructive capacity. He said AI would first be inducted into the mechanised force.

Kler was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on AI organised for the first time at a field-formation level — at the armoured division of the South Western Command. The command is headquartered in Jaipur and faces the International Border with Pakistan at the Punjab and Rajasthan sectors.

Kler further said that in the years to come, AI will turn out to be crucial for the military in a number of tasks, from utilising information to decision making and destruction of military capabilities, among others. He, however, said that soon enough, the Army will also have to factor in the disruptive use of AI.

“In the beginning, it (the use of AI) will be constructive — helping commanders in decision-making and making sure that any information will be converted into intelligence,” he said. “That will possibly be among the first use (of AI) for the Army in a constructive manner, but soon we will have to take into account the disruptive use of artificial intelligence.”

The seminar brought together eminent professionals from industry, academia, the military and the government to brainstorm on the way ahead in identifying and conceptualising AI technology-based defence applications and platforms for the future battlefield.

Along with the seminar, Wartech, an exhibition on military technologies was also organised.

Also read: Arsenal for Pakistan prepped, Army now focuses on ammo reserves to deal with China 

Work already underway to implement AI

In February 2018, the defence ministry had set up a multi-stakeholder task force for Strategic Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Defence, which submitted its report in June.

The ministry had implemented the recommendations of the task force and provided an institutional framework for policy implementation, issued guidelines to the defence organisations and had put out a vision for capacity-building.

In February this year, the ministry had established a high-level Defence AI Council (DAIC) to provide strategic direction towards the adoption of AI in defence.

According to reports, the Army’s blueprint on setting up an artificial intelligence system to reduce human errors and over-dependence on manpower is expected to be out soon.

At present, India’s neighbours such as China, are far ahead on AI capabilities, which is crucial in surveillance of the borders.

Also read: Satellite images show China road runs deep into Arunachal: Defence expert Abhijit Iyer-Mitra 


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