Integrating Artificial Intelligence into Military Operations: A Boyd Cycle Framework

  • October 23, 2017
  • Dr James Mancillas

The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities to overcome cognitive limits when managing “big data” and further leverage informational superiority into battle space superiority. However, these advantages may only materialize if these future technologies are properly integrated into military operations. To understand and facilitate this integration, this paper establishes baseline definitions and descriptions for key terms such as AI, autonomy, and degrees of autonomy, in-the-loop, and decision loops. Applying these terms, this study establishes a framework based on the Boyd cycle, also known as the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act loop (OODA Loop), to explore how AI systems participate in military decision processes. For each part of the OODA Loop, this study briefly explores the implications of AI systems using the JCIDS DOTMLPF lens.