Posted: 05/06/2014

I would very much like to discuss the future likelihood of cyber commanders needing to rely upon autonomous decision making processes capable of engaging cyber tools or weapons whose effects might ripple into the geophysical world and cause injury to persons and damage to things. If we assume that cyber conflict becomes industrialized at some point, and cyber tools and weapons become more practical, then those in charge of using these programs might find the pace of cyber conflict requiring them to turn certain decisions on whether to engage and with what to autonomous decision making processes, just to stay operationally relevant. What changes would need to occur in the ways that we select personnel, educate them, and train them to be comfortable using these systems as a function of responsible command? What changes would we need to make in human-computer interfaces to allow for quicker decision cycles, with the same degree of command responsiblity as required by the law of armed conflict? How can we develop programs that could accurately forecast where cyber action might ripple into the geo-physical world, and allow us to emplace assets to watch these points to assure ourselves that we meet the legal requirements of proportionality and distinction?