The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), part of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), is exploring the use of Chatbot digital assistants, using artificial intelligence (AI) to help tactical military users to rapidly access information in the field, geospatial and data specialist Envitia announced on 16 September.

The technology will enable soldiers to have conversations with a text chat interface system to find and discover the data they need to perform their mission. Envitia has been awarded a contract to build the high-level Chatbot solution, using AI to answer questions and provide relevant information to the user, both online and offline.

Earlier this year, Dstl ran a competition calling for innovative companies to build a Chatbot demonstrator and evaluate its performance and military utility. Envitia’s experience in developing these capabilities was a significant differentiator and, over the coming months, the company will develop the solution using an agile methodology to create a programme that can demonstrate how access to information can be improved for the military, through optimising the Chatbot digital assistant.

Nabil Lodey, Envitia CEO, said: “It’s no longer enough to just access information. The vast amounts of data and information could easily swamp a decision-maker, so our Chatbot solution will filter out irrelevant material, and then provide the vital information that is needed for mission success. We look forward to taking this programme forward so that it can benefit the UK military.”

Soldiers will be able to seek advice from chatbots whilst in the field. (Photo: Shkolenko via Envitia)

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