HISAR: Building India’s future capabilities against its adversaries, the army has planned to induct artificial intelligence technologies in the next two years with the first users being the mechanised formations such as tanks and infantry combat vehicles, South-Western Army Commander Lieutenant General Alok Kler said on Wednesday.
These mechanised formations are largely deployed along India’s western front with Pakistan and in some sectors of the northern border with China such as Ladakh and North Sikkim. The Jaipur-based South-Western Command itself has formations, especially mechanised, tasked with operations against Pakistan.
“In the next two to three years, we will induct constructive and destructive artificial intelligence into the Indian Army and the first people to use it will be the mechanised forces,” Kler said, adding that for such technologies to be used in mechanised warfare, the formations will have to be network centric.
He was speaking at the ‘Sapta Shakti (read as another name for South-Western Command) AI seminar’. On the sidelines of the event, he told reporters, “Artificial intelligence is a necessity. From information to decision making to direct destruction of military capabilities, artificial intelligence will be used. In the beginning it will be for constructive use such as helping a commander in making his decision and making sure information is converted into intelligence. But soon we will have to take into account disruptive use of AI.”
Calling the seminar a start of a roadmap for inducting the new technologies, Kler explained while tanks and combat vehicles are called swarms, artificial intelligence can lend to every aspect of military decision making. “From ground to space to water to air, artificial intelligence will assist every service,” he added.
In February last year, the defence ministry had set up a multi-stakeholder task force for Strategic Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Defence that submitted its report in June. The ministry went ahead by creating an institutional framework for policy implementation, issuing guidelines to the defence organizations and laying out a vision for capacity-building.
In February this year, the ministry had established a high-level Defence AI Council (DAIC) tasked to provide strategic direction towards the adoption of AI in defence.
Kler also commented on the issue of drones being used by Pakistan to drop weapons across the border into India, saying, “Their (Pak drones) capabilities are very small, so there is no need to be worried. Our radars and systems to identify them are deployed. Any drone which comes here will be destroyed by the army and air force.”