In an interview to news site CNBC, a senior official said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) believes in incorporating artificial intelligence in its decision-making process. General Denis Mercier, the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, said that the NATO is committed to exploring technological advancements.

NATO needs to develop a better data approach: General Mercier

According to Mercier, effective mobilization of human capital and data are among the key areas of focus of the 68 year-old military alliance. General Denis Mercier was speaking at an annual gathering of defense ministers on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue this weekend. He said that the alliance needs to develop a big and better data approach, cloud-like architectures and make an extensive use of AI.

He said that the AI tech could be used within anti-access area denial systems. Mercier was referring to worldwide defense structures that are designed to prevent enemy forces from entering air, sea or land spaces, or to completely destroy enemy forces. Mercier said, “The key issue is the distribution of data — how we can, through that, empower subordinate levels of command, when it’s necessary, to take action.” He added, “That’s not what we do today but this is really what we need to be available to do in the future.”

One way to deal with these highly complex and integrated systems is looking at the technological tools available. This can assist NATO in building architectures to make the systems work together. He stated that the prospect of AI delivering strategic verdicts on important issues of NATO was the next step.

The issue was not a contentious one: Mercier

The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have already been criticized by the United States President Donald Trump for not being successful in contributing more to defense spending. However, according to the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, the issue was not a contentious one.

Mercier said that sharing the burden of defending the North Atlantic community is a defining concept of the organization. Pointing to the Washington Treaty as an example, he said that this is not new.

(The Washington Treaty is the founding agreement of the organization.)

Members must develop and maintain a collective and an individual capacity to resist an armed attack, according to the Article 3 of the Washington Treaty. Mercier said that the responsibilities, hence, lie with the (member) nations.