In discussion at the Defence Simulation Education and Technology (DSET) conference, running from 10-13 June 2024, Pete Morrison chief product officer of Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) addressed questions about how his BISIm is adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of modern warfare, particularly in the context of current conflicts such as those in Ukraine. 

BISim is responsible for VBS, a crucial element of simulation technology. VBS architecture is often a feature of project tenders issued by defence departments when seeking training simulation capabilities. 

Morrison describes the war in Ukraine as having a “Back to the Future” quality, where World War I-style trench warfare is juxtaposed with cutting-edge drone technologies, and high-fidelity three-dimensional data from satellites. 

Morrison emphasises the need for simulations to reflect these hybrid battlefields accurately, referencing the coordination between drone operators and soldiers on the ground as one that must be integrated into training environments. This requires simulations to evolve rapidly to changing battlefield conditions.

BISim has recently overhauled its AI systems, moving away from game AI to a more structured, behaviour-based AI. This shift is designed to provide more predictable and controllable AI behaviour, essential for achieving specific training outcomes. Morrison notes that while machine learning-based AI has seen success in various domains, its application in military simulations is still limited. 

The need for transparency and predictability in AI decision-making is paramount in training environments. BISim’s approach ensures that AI behaviours can be understood and manipulated by human operators, which is critical for training and operational planning.

Morrison also touches on the importance of capturing and leveraging data from actual military operations to train AI systems.He emphasises the need for continued investment in machine learning research for military applications. This data-driven approach is essential for developing AI that can effectively support military decision-making.