arma et scientia ex officio

Call results by calendar year

Call results by funding instruments

R&D- Support Actions >Call 2018 >

Explore AI - Study on the influence of AI on military affairs in the Austrian context

AI will offer both new challenges and opportunities for the military sector in the near future, but the real impact of AI technologies on this sector, especially with respect to the cyber domain, has not yet been researched. Within the exploreAI project, explorative scenario analysis will be used to investigate in which areas AI will have a major impact, with special consideration of the Austrian situation.

In recent years, the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have drastically expanded. This is partly due to new techniques and methods, especially in the field of neural networks and machine learning in general, but also to the availability of cheaper and more powe ful hardware, which now also makes it possible to efficiently implement long-standing technologies.

In the military field, machine learning and other AI techniques have long played a role, for example in the evaluation of information (OSINT and SIGINT), position recognition, automated and intelligent image and video analysis. However, a lot of progress has been made in recent years that is particularly important for military applications, such as the automated detection of so-called "targeted attacks" (cyber attacks tailored to a specific target). This also applies to its counterpart, the use of intelligent and self-learning malware for targeted attacks on (military) targets. These examples illustrate well the impact of these new technologies on the fifth military dimension.

In addition, the earlier assumption that small states are on a par with large ones in this dimension cannot be maintained, and in this domain, too, it has emerged that different budgets lead to different possibilities. A major problem for states with lower military budgets is therefore the correct assessment of threats and opportunities of these new technologies, while prioritizing their own expenditures in this area.

The aim of this study is to analyse future threats and opportunities with respect to locating financial resources in this area as efficiently as possible. For this purpose, we will systematically map possible technology development and cyber defense use cases based on the current state of the art with the help of explorative scenario analysis in order to make forecasts in which directions technologies and applications can develop. Not only possible developments in the AI itself will be analyzed, but also social and technological trends in the future, as these will have a significant influence on the behavior of individuals, the use of AI in the personal environment, but also the strategy in the military environment. Especially the social and political development in this area must be considered separately against the background of various international activities in the field of the ethical justifiability of the use of autonomous weapon systems, also in the cyber area.