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MIVP and Monash Global Terrorism Research Centre student John Pollard presented Man, The Machine, and War at the DSI-DSTG discovery workshop "Bi-Directional Communication for Human-Robot Teaming", held 6-7 April in Melbourne.


“Man, The Machine, & War” is a multipart project to determine the extent to which artificial autonomous agents can comply with the requirements of the laws of armed conflict, the predications of just war theory, and the expectations of moral conduct of warfighters in the modern battlespace. Building on the premise that artificial autonomous agents will be required to conduct themselves with the same degree of moral competence as their human counterparts, this presentation outlines the combined capabilities of the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform CAVE2 facility and Bohemia Interactive Simulations’ “Virtual
Battlespace 3”.

Real-time testing of autonomous agents, partnered with dismounted infantry in Man-Machine Combat Teams, is the most difficult problem for evaluating human-autonomy teaming because of the inherent limitations of head-mounted virtual reality systems, generally more suited to vehicle simulations. The CAVE2 platform is an ideal environment for real-time ethical testing of artificial moral agency, in realistic tactical simulations that are scalable from individual kinetic action up to theatre-wide conflict scenarios, and in strategic simulations scalable from ocean depths to low earth orbit.

Offering a solution to the dismounted man-machine combat team simulation problem, with hybrid AR-VR in a room-scale arena, this presentation introduces DSTG and Army to ready and familiar real-time simulations, on a platform that is fully compatible with present and future doctrine and training. This unique combination of systems allows for the interactions within and between these teams to be analysed and allows the ethical testing of potentially lethal situations in deadly conflict zones and hostile contested spaces.