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On May 13, 2019, Plath opened the 10th edition of the Intelligence Workshop, which was a highlight to an ever growing number of attendees of the still ongoing Electronic Warfare (EW) tradeshow in Stockholm. At the Intelligence Workshop Lieutenant Colonel Holger Schmör, Deputy Director and Senior German National Officer of NATO’s Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS), gave insights in his understanding of modern warfare and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) should support the military commander.

Two factors are therefore typical for modern warfare scenarios, the uncertainty who might be friend or foe and the protection of own forces. This goes together with an environment, Schmör called “a world becoming a little bit more traditional again.” “Not everything we perceive as new is really new,” Schmör described the situation. Good intelligence has also always been vital for military, with good intelligence being not only the sensors but the analysis. And this analysis should focus on vulnerabilities, no matter whether it is made by humans or AI.

“Intelligence does not win a battle, but it can be decisive”, Schmör pointed out. “If I want to win, I need to know vulnerabilities. I don’t need thousands of pieces. I don’t need all the possibilities. I need the vulnerabilities to make my decision. For example a jammer is a target and it is still a platform. The vulnerabilities might be in several areas.” A human could make up creative solutions to assess these vulnerabilities, to make them become chances to win a battle. “But my question is, can AI decide on opportunities?” Schmör asked and pointed out that in the end it all goes down to: “The commander needs to make a decision and this means, the analysis needs to focus on vulnerabilities. But who teaches us asking the right questions?”

Dorothee Frank