Evolving Towards Military Innovation: AI and the Australian Army

Alex Neads, Theo Farrell, David J. Galbreath

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Established theory views military innovation as extraordinarily difficult, resulting in painful if infrequent revolutionary transformations. This article presents a divergent view, in which military innovation occurs progressively in an evolutionary fashion. Drawing on New Institutionalism and the Sociology of Science and Technology, we explore processes of professional debate and consensus-building among military officers, which can lead to evolutionary innovation. Examining the future application of artificial intelligence to command-and-control in the Australian Army, we find that officer attitudes to automation are rooted in shared experience of existing digitisation programmes, creating an emergent consensus over the evolutionary trajectory of future military innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Early online date24 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2023


  • Australian Defence Forces
  • Military innovation
  • artificial intelligence
  • command and control
  • future war
  • human-machine teaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


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