Nukkai AI supports NATO war game with Thales Computerworld

Successfully used in 2022 as part of a bridge competition, the artificial intelligence of the young French start-up Nukkai will be embarked on a war simulator. The performance of AI in handling complex military situations will be compared with that of human operators.

Unbeatable at bridge, will the AI ​​of the French start-up Nukkai also be used in the military field? Presented to the DGA by Thales, it will be used as part of an upcoming war game in October 2023 under the aegis of NATO. During this military simulation, this AI solution will be deployed at the Maastricht Joint Command Center with the aim of measuring its performance and comparing it with that of a human team. “A land, air, sea and cyber operation will be carried out in which we will deploy a shadow HQ”, explained during a press briefing Eddy Verstraete, digital and innovation director for land and air systems activities at Thales. Nukkai will be used to inform operational decision-making consisting, for example, of where to place men and equipment, how to deploy, to fire on such and such a target… “We are sufficiently advanced in terms of maturity to consider the system as potentially usable and put it into a war game exercise,” says David Sadek, vice-president of research, technology and innovation at Thales.

For Thales, Nukkai aims to provide support for the analysis and fusion of multi-channel and multi-source information in a command and control center environment. This concerns real-time tactical data links from real-time command and control software as well as structured data tables, texts and also social networks. “We will be able to take into account tomorrow the voice which will be digitized with natural language processing”, says Eddy Verstraete. As part of this project, Thales will however allow time for reflection following the assessment that will be carried out concerning the effectiveness of Nukkai for this exercise. “There is an option to quit,” confirms Eddy Verstraete. “We are in control of the deployment, we can also edit it, but we are convinced of this tool, in one form or another”.

Always a human behind the AI

The algorithms developed by Nukkai will be integrated into the command center system and a lot of work will also be done in terms of the man-machine interface. “Where it took a month with 1,000 analysts to plan an operation, it will only take a few dozen to do it in a significantly shorter time,” says David Sadek. Should we see in the longer term a complete replacement of humans by AI? Nothing is less certain: “There will always be a human in the loop”, wishes to reassure David Sadek.

The future will therefore not be without humans, but with less. Which, with regard to the explosion in the volume of sources to be analyzed (disparate, voluminous, obfuscated, etc.), nevertheless constitutes a performance. “The main direction is to move towards hybrid AI”, says Eddy Verstraete, with the aim of combining the best of both worlds: “We will have the ability to find new rules of explainability and patterns to inject into a human-powered knowledge base to enrich the algorithm”.

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Nukkai AI supports NATO war game with Thales Computerworld

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