British Army publishes Approach to Artificial Intelligence

The British Army publishes strategy paper setting out how it plans to become 'AI Ready' by April 2024.

At the end of 2023 the British Army published a strategy paper setting out how it plans to become ‘AI Ready’ by April 2024. The paper sits alongside the September 2020 Integrated Operating Concept, the 2021 Digital Strategy for Defence and Data Strategy for Defence, the June 2022 Defence Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and set outs the practical delivery of The Army Digital & Data Plan 2023-2025 published in April 2023. Alongside skills, ethics and internal leadership and data governance, the strategy covers the Army’s private sector engagement.  

The core of the strategy is to ensure that:

‘The Army is a trusted and responsible user of AI, integrating human-centered AI across the whole force for decision advantage.’

The value of AI is ‘derived from its ability to access and process vast quantities of data, at the speed of relevance’. Therefore, such capabilities will provide the Army with competitive advantage and operating efficiency against adversaries ‘limited only by their ingenuity, resources and will’.

The paper sets out the means by which the Army will achieve this. The most significant is the establishment of the Army Artificial Intelligence Centre (AAIC) to provide ‘the governance, coherence and oversight to achieve AI readiness and deliver AI at pace and scale’. The AAIC sits as part of the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC) federation.

A Critical Enabler identified in the paper, is the need to harness the ‘combined knowledge and full potential of the UK and global Al ecosystem’ including SMEs and Primes. AAIC will undertake a market analysis to identify the emergent AI trends and how providers and suppliers can be integrated into an environment ‘which supports whole force needs for AI adoption’ with incentives to ensure that SMEs can deal directly with the MOD through competitions and awards.

To accelerate change and ensure efficiency, the commissioning of bespoke products will be considered only when commercial off-the-shelf or modified off-the-shelf projects cannot meet a particular demand.

Through all this, the Industry Advisory Group will remain the Army’s primary line of communication with business.

To read the full paper, click here.

Jeremy Wimble

Programme Manager, techUK

Jeremy is a programme manager at techUK and is responsible for the delivery of the defence programme’s activities through the Defence and Security SME Forum, Defence Commercial Business Forum, Defence Research and Technology Forum, and Information Superiority Forum.

Prior to joining techUK, from 2016-2024 Jeremy was International Security Programme Manager at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). In this role he coordinated the team’s research and impact activities for funders including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and US Department of Defense. He also worked on business development and strategy.

Jeremy has a MA in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and a BA (Hons) in Politics & Social Policy from Swansea University.

[email protected]

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