The Defense Science Board has conducted a 2016 summer study on autonomy that suggests autonomous technology can provide various operational advantages to a wide array of Defense Department missions.
DSB outlined in a June 2016 report three sets of recommendations to help DoD expand the use of self-operating platforms for the military, increase the operational pull for such technology and mature underlying systems for autonomy.
DoD should work to identify methods to address autonomous system engineering, design, acquisition and security challenges as well as establish an autonomy-literate workforce and create new test, modeling and simulation frameworks, according to the board.
The board also recommended that DoD consider deployment of autonomous agents to gather cyber threat intelligence, unmanned undersea vehicles that can function as sea mine countermeasures and organic tactical unmanned aircraft designed to support ground forces.
The department should also adopt an early warning system to study global social movements, intrusion detection tools to secure Internet of Things and autonomous cyber resilience technology for integration into military vehicle systems, the report added.
DSB identified two potential key benefits of autonomy for DoD.
“First, autonomy can increase decision speed, enabling the U.S. to act inside an adversary’s operations cycle.”
“Secondly, ongoing rapid transition of autonomy into warfighting capabilities is vital if the U.S. is to sustain military advantage.”