Human Machine Teaming and the Future of Air Operations Focus stratégique, No. 106, September 2021
The increasing autonomy and digitization of battlefields implies a re-examination of Man Machine Teaming (MMT). While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significant benefits, the human cognitive system remains unique until this day. Nonetheless, as demonstrated by the “centaur” approach, man-machine teaming offers even greater potentials than the two working separately.
Man Machine Teaming’s operational gains are thought to be tremendous, but so are their challenges. As the systems grow increasingly autonomous, their interaction with humans gets more complex, with AI slowly transitioning from a tool-like role to that of a crewmember. To make the most of this new collaboration, the very conception of these new technologies needs to be rethought in order to focus their designs on humans. Allowing humans to effectively interact with systems that have varying degrees of autonomy is expected to give armed forces a new factor of operational superiority.
Numerous countries are now developing MMT military program. In France, the “future aerial combat system” or SCAF carries these new stakes in the field of military airpower – a field where man-system integration is old and where its potentials are great. From logistic to swarming in, from flight assistants to “cobots”, the possibilities of effective man-machine teaming are wide and they are already reshaping the field of military airpower.
This content is available in French : La synergie homme-machine et l'avenir des opérations aériennes