Share this Article

The ChatGPT-4 is one of the most advanced multi-model AI tools that can generate creative and even technical texts. OpenAI released this new version on 14 Mar 2023 with enhanced security features. The power of this AI tool has opened a new vista of opportunities for the Armed Forces.

Preserving institutional memory for tactics and operations is a challenging task for the armed forces in the present-day data-flooded environment. Frequent transfer and retirement of key personnel in the armed forces hinder the continuity and hence Decision Support Systems (DSS) are much needed for a consistent and quality decision-making process. The concept over which ChatGPT is evolved has given an opportunity to the Armed Forces to explore the military applications using ChatGPT.

Upon firing a query ‘How to upgrade Indian Military Forces?’,  the suggestions received from ChatGPT are placed below.

Upgrading the Indian military forces requires a comprehensive and systematic approach, involving various aspects of military strategy, planning, organization, training, and technology. Here are some steps that could be taken

  • Increase the defence budget: The Indian government could increase the defence budget to provide adequate funds for modernization, acquisition of new equipment, and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
  • Technology acquisition and development: The Indian military could invest in the latest technology and acquire state-of-the-art equipment and weapons systems to enhance its capabilities. This could include developing indigenous technology and encouraging collaboration with foreign defence companies.
  • Training and skill development: The Indian military could focus on training and skill development to enhance the proficiency and effectiveness of its personnel. This could involve providing regular training, education, and skill development programs for officers, soldiers, and support staff.
  • Strengthening intelligence gathering capabilities: The Indian military could invest in strengthening its intelligence gathering capabilities to help identify potential threats and respond more effectively to security challenges.
  • Emphasizing joint operations: The Indian military could emphasize joint operations between its different branches and with other allied forces to improve coordination, interoperability, and strategic planning.
  • Upgrading infrastructure: The Indian military could upgrade its infrastructure, including airfields, ports, and communication networks, to improve its logistical capabilities and support operations.
  • Improving healthcare and welfare: The Indian military could invest in improving the healthcare and welfare of its personnel, including providing better medical facilities, housing, and other amenities.

Overall, upgrading the Indian military forces requires a long-term commitment and a sustained effort across multiple fronts.”

Though generic, ChatGPT has given a pretty decent answer bullet-wise.

How did OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT manage to identify and get the source data for arriving above suggestions? If the response of ChatGPT is close to the actuals, can we exploit this tool for our military operations and tactics?

When we fire queries on military operations and tactics, ChatGPT gives us a reply to maintain peace and advises us to restrain from war. ChatGPT is not designed to render military-specific solutions as of date.

ChatGPT is an expert system tool with a language generation model including Natural Language Processing (NLP), text generation and language translation. Being a  multi-model, it can process and integrate inputs in the form of text, images and sounds. Curation and refinement of suggestions rendered by ChatGPT can be done later to arrive the near perfect solutions. The creator of ChatGPT-4, OpenAI does offer an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows developers to access and use ChatGPT’s capabilities for a fee. Additionally, OpenAI has released other AI-related tools and technologies as open-source software.

Use Cases for Testing

Every autonomous system with an AI element can be short-listed for ChatGPT testing. In conclusion, ChatGPT or a similar tool has the potential to enhance and improvise varied cognitive military applications and tactical solutions. The following applications can be explored and tested by suitable agencies to ascertain the utility of ChatGPT in the military. Dedicated customised sources are to be provided as input to each of the applications listed below for testing the output:

  • Processing and analysing large military data for drawing tactics
  • Wearable autonomous systems for soldiers’ decision support
  • Military satellite management
  • Controlling flight paths of autonomous drones
  • Optimisation operations under swarm combat
  • Sensor and data fusions
  • Highlighting threats in tactical situations
  • Bot-based cyber and network security
  • Guidance of missiles and smart bombs
  • Strategic Aircombat
  • VR and AR simulation for training and operational support.
  • Battlefield tactical support and autonomy
  • Humans in the loop for Lethal Autonomous Systems (LAWS)
  • Surveillance and reconnaissance
  • Autonomous Ground Vehicles (AGV) navigation
  • Information warfare during combat and peacetime
  • Optimisation of logistics support and transportation
  • Identification and classification of targets
  • Navigation and operation of military robotic vehicles
  • Simulation training where in the live environment is costly to replicate
  • Creation of draft debrief reports and post-operation summaries by summarizing data 
  • Intelligence analysis and summary
  • Medical and medicine expert system
  • Predictive and prescriptive maintenance linked to digital twinning.

ChatGPT Vs Military Decision Support System (DSS)

When it comes to specific defence applications, the solutions rendered by the ChatGPT may not be near perfect. The sources/ data available to ChatGPT cannot be dependable or checked for correctness. This limitation will remain since many of the inputs needing for military ops and tactical solutions are sensitive and dynamic. Military DSS is designed specifically for applications and the quality of the solution rendered is near optimal. There is a need to work with OpenAI to tailor the present ChatGPT for making it military-ready.

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Since ChatGPT does not have the wherewithal to find the correctness of source data available in the public domain specific to military applications, if garbage has been referred to as the basic source of information by ChatGPT, then the output will be equally trash. There is a need to customise the ChatGPT to suit military-specific requirements by providing authentic source data. We can also explore the option of taking the output rendered by Chat GPT as one of the primary inputs to the existing DSS of the military and then provide supplementary pieces of information to generate near-optimal solutions from Military DSS. How far we can integrate with ChatGPT needs to be ascertained from OpenAI.


Though the Chat GPT is a versatile tool for text generation, the solutions being rendered for military applications are not the best. Hence it may not be suitable for military applications in the present form. The sources of data requiring for military operations and tactics are real-time and dynamic. The potential of ChatGPT is yet to be ascertained by any agency for military applications. Many of the military solutions go beyond texts and getting imageries and drawings as output from ChatGPT is challenging. As of now, ChatGPT can be exploited as a fact finder only. How far we can customise this application for the requirement of armed forces needs to be deliberated with the creator, OpenAI.

Security of information and data is one of the primary challenges in military applications since source data are sensitive in nature. Confidential information should not fall into the wrong hands. Many of the military applications are real-time and hence we have to check whether ChatGPT can process large volumes of data in real time and provide responses quickly. In military applications, reliability is paramount. ChatGPT is to be tested and validated to ensure reliability under all conditions. The context and nuances of military jargon with respect to each nation differ. Specialized training and fine-tuning of the language model are mandatory to overcome such situations.

Way Ahead

ChatGPT has thrown up an enormous amount of opportunities for developing similar systems for military applications. Decision Support Systems are inevitable for military commanders at various levels since the volume of data being processed is humongous. Days are not far wherein our foot soldiers will start using such systems for front-line operations to supplement the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Developing military-specific foolproof tools in line with ChatGPT would certainly go a long way for our evolving Armed Forces. Adaption to local languages and the generation of solutions in audio and video format can also be explored for effective military-specific requirements.

Courtesy: Daily News Hungary

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies

By Cdr (Dr) Jayakrishnan N Nair

Commander (Dr) Jayakrishnan N Nair (Retd), is an Aerospace Engineer by profession. He has served in the Indian Navy for 25 years. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, a DRDO TDF Expert, Life Member of the Aeronautical Society of India, All India Management Association, Computer Society of India and Indian Society of Training and Development. Apart from an MTech (Aero) and MBA, he has been honoured with a Doctorate in Advanced Studies (Aerospace/Science) by the University of Azteca, Mexico. An Associate Member at MP-IDSA, New Delhi and Senior Fellow (Defence and Military Analysis) at the Centre for Public Policy Research.