Idex 2023 in UAE: Big data, AI to play key role in decision-making during warfare, say experts

New technological advancements like big data analytics are also expected to have multiple uses across the defence sector

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 5:57 PM

In future warfare, data will be a key weapon system influencing decision-making of commanders on the battlefield, top experts from the defence sector said during an event in Abu Dhabi.

Tariq Al Hashmi, director of technology adoption and development at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, noted that the new technological advancements, such as AI and big data analytics, are expected to have multiple uses across the defence sector.

“I believe that commanders are faced with several challenges in situations that require decision-making without sufficient data. With all these new technologies, we will be able to obtain relevant insights from multiple sources, which would feed into our algorithms and AI technologies, to support us in making better, faster and more efficient decisions,” Al Hashmi said during a panel discussion of Idex 2023 titled ‘Data driven defence tech: Where should you invest and what technologies are expected in the future.’

“The speed and scope of technologies have been on the rise, and I believe that technologies like ChatGPT are only the beginning. These technologies have made it necessary for us to redefine our military strategies, especially now that software is becoming more accessible. It is also important to highlight the key role of governments in driving and investing in innovation,” Al Hashmi said during the first-ever Idex and Navdex Talks.

Sascha Rodenberg, defence partner at PwC Middle East, noted that the military domain is evolving to become more driven by technologies, which gather data through analytics to support commanders in making informed decisions.

“I cannot imagine a future of warfare that does not pivot around data analytics. Smaller nations have the competitive advantage to buy from larger nations and develop national in-house technologies.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ernesto Damiani, senior director of the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute at Khalifa University, stressed that the importance of autonomous systems in decision-making is increasing.

“It is now essential for people in the military domain to carefully choose the degree of autonomy and control of the technologies that they are looking to use. It’s essential to partner with other entities to develop autonomous technologies and further their acceleration, which becomes possible by redesigning the landscape of suppliers,” Dr Damiani added.

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