The release of the GPT-4 large language model system in March has launched a freshly urgent conversation about how vastly more capable artificial intelligence will change society and warfare. The Marine Corps is among the first of the service branches to address the realities of a future battlespace with intelligent robotics and machines that can “think” on a level previously only seen in science fiction.
In the annual update to the Marine Corps strategy document Force Design 2030, released in June, the service spends several pages addressing “Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems,” or IRAS. It outlines, among other things, the rules under which the service wants Marines to train and eventually fight alongside and even against these smart machines.
[Editor’s Note: Drones are playing a huge role in the Ukraine conflict. From kamikaze drones flown into bunkers and vehicles, to those used to drop small, homemade bomblets on troops in trenches and through the open hatches of tanks, to those used to direct artillery fire, these systems are changing the course of the war.]