Daily Newsletter

28 November 2023

Daily Newsletter

28 November 2023

British Army to use ChatGPT-integrated robotic targets for training

SimStriker started development in 2020 and is used at 4GD’s SmartFacility, which is currently in service with the British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade.

Richard Thomas November 28 2023

UK-based close combat training technology specialists, 4GD, have been awarded a contract by the Defence and Security Accelerator to integrate the ChatGPT language model into its SimStriker robotic targets.

The integration will allow soldiers to have “dynamic conversations with the target”, according to 4GD, which will work with its partners NIAXO, a software solutions company, to create varied military training scenarios.

SimStriker, which started development in 2020, is used at 4GD’s SmartFacility, which is currently in service with the British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade in Colchester, UK. In 2022, the facility was used for more than 1,200 hours by the British Army Air Assault Brigade, the Ministry of Defence police, and civilian users.

In a 27 November release, 4GD stated that the target is fitted with “hit zone” sensors capable of recording the precision and fire rate of soldiers. Instruments inside the body can also pick up movement, light and sound enabling the target to vocally respond, raise the alarm, shoot back with non-lethal ammunition and drop on its base when engaged.

This latest development of SimStriker, using OpenAI’s ChatGPT system, will enable the operator to configure, or select preconfigured scenarios. The training personnel will be able to verbally interact with the SimStriker; having a synthetic conversation with the equipment, 4GD said.

In addition, 4GD will integrate this behavioural dynamic with simulated social media feeds, and other environmental stimuli.

In common with many militaries around the world, the UK is investing into the use of technologies such as augmented and virtual reality for training, in a bid to reduce costs.

However, real-world training is still a key part of building up and maintaining operational effectiveness, with developments as seen with 4GD and its use of ChatGPT the latest evolution in interactive training solutions.

Internet of Things (IoT) in Defense

The applications of IoT in defense are wide-ranging and include health monitoring, AR remote training, gaining situational awareness using drones, vehicle management, target recognition, and many more. For instance, smart sensors can be used on military equipment to give data on their health and whether maintenance is needed. This helps reduce operating costs and downtime for military equipment as the sensor can predict when a breakdown is imminent. However, the proliferation of IoT has also brought up security concerns.

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