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.
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.
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.
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