Imagine the applications and implications of robotics and artificial intelligence in 2045

Man versus Machine: Building a DoD-level enterprise approach to evaluating the relative advantages and disadvantages of employing humans, AI, and and robots

Describe your idea

The DoD should develop an enterprise-wide approach to evaluating the relative merits (lifecycle and other costs, error rates, productivity, sustainability, safety, etc.) of using human labor vice machine labor (robotics and computers) for all labor functions within the Department. The approach would set up an evolving process to afford decision makers in DoD and its components with the tools to account for improvements to machine and human tech, changes in labor markets and other economic factors, competitors' efforts, social attitudes, and other criteria. The approach wouldn't prescribe a single standard for evaluating the relative advantages and disadvantages of human and machine labor; rather, it would provide a mechanism that allows the Department to evaluate across multiple criteria and in a more open (though likely classified) fashion how to best leverage human and machine labor.

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1 year ago
jah27 said
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To focus this, the assessments should focus initia [...]
To focus this, the assessments should focus initially on two things:

1) Comparing the future of human and machine labor in the U.S. military with the broader American culture and economy. The assessment would consider cultural attitudes, legal frameworks, the labor market, general economy, tech sector, education, and demographics, among other factors. This would provide a baseline to understand where the U.S. military stands on human and machine labor relative to the nation it protects and the cultures within that nation.

2) Building on the first part of the study, the assessments should compare the future of human and machine labor in the U.S., looking at cultural attitudes, labor markets, the general economy, tech sector, education, with perceptions and outlooks for the future of human and machine labor for our allies and competitors (state and non-state).
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What makes this idea new or different?

1 This idea links together many of the ideas laid out in this game by proposing a way for the DoD and its components to evaluate over time the how to best leverage human and machine labor in service of our Nation's defense - truly a strategic approach.
2 Currently, the DoD approach to exploiting automation (mainly computers) and robotics relies on point solutions: solving specific technical or operational problems, often without regards to downstream effects across a broad array of criteria.

Top improvement

1 year ago
jah27 said
1
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The current DoD approach to automation/robotics ha [...]
The current DoD approach to automation/robotics has been to develop point solutions, with the most visible focus on solving what are at present the hardest technological problems: robotic combat aircraft, robots supporting infantry squads, etc. By developing an analytic approach that balances the warfighter with the broader defense enterprise, decision makers can determine specific areas where the DoD should be an innovator and other areas where the Department elects to be a 'fast follower.'
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What will be the implications of this idea?

Disruption of the labor market from robotics and automation continues, but the DoD doesn't have a clear approach for leverage or mitigating the disruption. The Oxford University study by Frey and Osborne, in which they evaluate the U.S. labor market impacts of automation & robotics, estimates that, "about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk...[from] the expected impacts of future computerisation." See www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf.

Top improvement

1 year ago
jah27 said
1
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Should the U.S. incorporate this kind of assessmen [...]
Should the U.S. incorporate this kind of assessment into its net assessment and R&D and acquisition processes, U.S. Defense leaders would understand how the U.S., its allies, and its competitors' look at the interactions among human labor, computers, and robotics. Knowing this, decision makers would understand whether other nations or threat actors could gain specific military advantages over the U.S., and if so, how to mitigate or exploit these challenges or opportunities.
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What other players said

1 year ago - jah27 said
What makes this idea new or different?
0
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This would add a layer to the long-running DoD net [...]
This would add a layer to the long-running DoD net assessment approach, which focuses on the distortions to competitors' strategic planning caused by social and bureaucratic norms. Specifically, part of evaluating the relative advantages and disadvantages of humans, AI, and and robotic labor would compare U.S., its allies, and its competitors' cultural, legal, and economic frameworks to assess how and when other nations or threat actors may gain military advantage over the U.S.
1 year ago - nmk47 said
What will be the implications of this idea?
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I agree that a close look at cultural attitudes is [...]
I agree that a close look at cultural attitudes is informative. This will allow the gov to make smart decisions about when and how to push the envelope with full awareness of social and ethical implications. As part of this, consider as a government how to oversee robot work product in a way that makes sense.
1 year ago - Adaptive said
Describe your idea
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It would need an adaptive cost function with some [...]
It would need an adaptive cost function with some Monte Carlo like method to adjust relative weighting across the many possibilities and identify sensitivities in the algorithm.
1 year ago - jah27 said
What makes this idea new or different?
1
Open Close
The current DoD approach to automation/robotics ha [...]
The current DoD approach to automation/robotics has been to develop point solutions, with the most visible focus on solving what are at present the hardest technological problems: robotic combat aircraft, robots supporting infantry squads, etc. By developing an analytic approach that balances the warfighter with the broader defense enterprise, decision makers can determine specific areas where the DoD should be an innovator and other areas where the Department elects to be a 'fast follower.'
1 year ago - jah27 said
What will be the implications of this idea?
1
Open Close
Should the U.S. incorporate this kind of assessmen [...]
Should the U.S. incorporate this kind of assessment into its net assessment and R&D and acquisition processes, U.S. Defense leaders would understand how the U.S., its allies, and its competitors' look at the interactions among human labor, computers, and robotics. Knowing this, decision makers would understand whether other nations or threat actors could gain specific military advantages over the U.S., and if so, how to mitigate or exploit these challenges or opportunities.
1 year ago - jah27 said
Describe your idea
1
Open Close
To focus this, the assessments should focus initia [...]
To focus this, the assessments should focus initially on two things:

1) Comparing the future of human and machine labor in the U.S. military with the broader American culture and economy. The assessment would consider cultural attitudes, legal frameworks, the labor market, general economy, tech sector, education, and demographics, among other factors. This would provide a baseline to understand where the U.S. military stands on human and machine labor relative to the nation it protects and the cultures within that nation.

2) Building on the first part of the study, the assessments should compare the future of human and machine labor in the U.S., looking at cultural attitudes, labor markets, the general economy, tech sector, education, with perceptions and outlooks for the future of human and machine labor for our allies and competitors (state and non-state).

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