Automation Affection: The Defense Department is Learning to Love Bots

Bots have a bad name in no small part because of their role in Russian information warfare. However, the Defense Department is finding that when deployed for good, bots can liberate humans from repetitive tasks and allow people to perform higher-level work. To respond to the growing complexity of threats and warfare, the Pentagon must find ways to get more out of a finite supply of personnel. Creating software applications — robots, or “bots” — to perform time-consuming and repetitive tasks is a way forward, said Winston Beauchamp, deputy chief information officer of the Air Force, at the UiPath Together conference in Arlington, Virginia. “We don’t have enough people to do the work that we’ve been doing the way we’ve been doing it,” he said on the sidelines of the conference. Older workers “remember fondly the days when we had rooms full of clerks who processed this stuff for us. That’s not the case anymore. And so, they recognize the imperative to change,” he said. Change means the automation of business and administrative tasks as well as developing bots and artificial intelligence for warfighting functions. 

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