British Army fights back against robots with latest recruitment campaign

News, Robots

The British Army is fighting back against the influence of robots in the workforce despite new research showing that a third of Brits (30%) think it may eventually employ more robots than people.

Entitled Nothing Can Do What a Soldier Can Do, the campaign aims to show the central importance of humans in the future of the British Army. The 60-second hero film shows an imagined, dystopian future, where a robotic soldier scouts the terrain of a conflict zone, made of over 4,000 individual CGI elements and 2,000 sound design samples. 

While over a fifth (22%) say sci-fi and robot films make them scared about the future, and a third (30%) are worried that robots with AI could even go rogue from human instruction, the new campaign aims to set the record straight on fact versus fiction when it comes to the Army’s future operations, it claims.

The campaign accompanies new research from the British Army, which shows a significant number of the public believe that robots will eventually overtake soldiers:

  • Three in ten (30%) think the British Army could one day employ more robots than humans
  • 18% think that the future Army could look like something from a sci-fi film
  • 22% say that future conflicts during war or invasion may be fought by avatars rather than soldiers
  • Almost a quarter (24% of respondents) believe that human augmentation could lead to super soldiers with amazing powers of strength, stamina or stealth
  • 16% believe there is a possibility that robots and AI will one day take over the world

While the new campaign highlights the cutting-edge technologies that make the British Army one of the best in the world, it makes clear that its future will be underpinned by soldiers who will be responsible for the development and utilisation of every piece of that technology.

Says Colonel Nick Mackenzie, Assistant Director Recruiting: 

“Like previous recruitment campaigns, Nothing Can Do What A Soldier Can Do aims to dispel one of the many myths that surround the British Army. This time, looking at the British Army of the future and the role of soldiers within it. We want to tell future recruits that, no matter what technological advancements we make  – it is the judgement, intelligence, and even the wit of our soldiers that is indispensable to the future of the Army.

“We hope the campaign will lead to potential applicants seeing the Army as an exciting place they can learn and grow, and be valued as an integral part our future.”

It’s certainly not been a great week for the British armed forces. Yesterday it emerged the British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts had been hacked while today it was revealed that the RAF’s flagship drone trials squadron owns no drones and has carried out no in-house trials with uncrewed craft in the two years of its existence. 

The news comes as it was also reported that businesses are planning to invest in more automation as a top priority with firms facing recruitment problems most likely to have automation high up on the agenda – according to a report from HSBC.

Tech Digest daily roundup: Is your job under threat from a robot?

Chris Price
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