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Towards augmented rather than artificial intelligence

The conference will be held in French and English with simultaneous interpretation

La conférence se tiendra en français et en anglais avec traduction simultanée

The return of high-intensity conflict in Europe is generating new thinking on military leadership and new technologies. Cognitive computing, Cloud and artificial intelligence all  play a part in modern-day military decision making. As the role of these technologies is set to increase, the 5th Vauban Sessions will encourage reflection and discussion on the their place in the decision-making process, their complementarity with human intelligence and how they make shape 21st century operations.

Tuesday 23rd May 2023

Moderator: General (ret.) Jean-Paul PALOMEROS, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and Senior Advisor at CEIS - Avisa Partners

14:00 - Welcome coffee

15:00 - 15:30 - Welcome address 

  • Lieutenant General Emmanuel GAULIN, Commander of the Rapid Reaction Corps - France (RRC-Fr)

  • General (ret.) Jean-Paul PALOMEROS, Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) and Senior Advisor at CEIS - Avisa Partners


15:30 - 16:15 - Session I: What is decision making? 


The decision-making process in military operations is part of a specific technical and cognitive context. This introductory session will lay the foundations for the discussions of the Vauban Sessions on the notions of decision-making and command, and the impact of technologies - particularly those known as "Artificial Intelligence".

  • Lieutenant General Bertrand TOUJOUSE, Commander of the French Land Forces

  • Lieutenant General Emmanuel GAULIN, Commander of the Rapid Reaction Corps - France (RRC-FR)

  • Axel DYEVRE, Senior Partner, CEIS-Avisa Partners

 16:15 - 17:45 - Session II: High intensity engagements: what lessons learnt from recent conflicts for C2 operations and ICT architectures?

The conflict in Ukraine has brought major engagements back into focus. Despite the "fog of war", initial feedback is emerging on the functioning of command chains and means: the importance of stealth, resilience, connectivity and issues related to terrain and adversary actions.

  • Brigadier General Arnaud WEIXLER, Deputy Chief of Staff for Resources and Senior National Representative for France, 1 GNC

  • Rear Admiral Laurent HERMANN, Head of the Digital Division Joint Directorate for Defense Network Infrastructure and Information Systems (DIRISI), French MoD

  • Colonel Mietta GROENEVELD, Director NATO Command & Control Centre of Excellence (NATO C2COE)

  • General (ret.) Grégoire de SAINT-QUENTIN, Senior Vice-President Advanced projects, Preligens, and Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, French MoD

18:00 - 20:00 - Cocktail  reception

Wednesday 24th May 2023

08:15-09:00 - Welcome coffee


09:00 - 10:30 - Session III: Can new cognitive computing capabilities become an operational advantage? 


Cognitive computing aims to reproduce the human thought process in computing. This concept is based on data mining, automatic pattern recognition and natural language processing. It seeks to imitate the way the brain works to perform certain tasks: understanding language, recognising objects, anticipating problems, formulating solutions, etc.

  • Major General Tony WRIGHT, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Policies (DCOS SPP), NATO Allied Command Transformation

  • Brigadier General Marc LOBEL, Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Strategic Development of Forces (SDF), NATO SHAPE

  • Brigadier General (ret.) Olivier KEMPF, Director of French strategic institute La Vigie, Former Head of Digital Transformation of the French Army Staff

  • Joe BAGULEY, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, EMEA, VMWare

11:00 - 12:30 - Session IV: Cloud, artificial and human intelligence: what benefits for C2? 


Faced with the uncertainty of decision-making, human intelligence "fills the gaps" through various cognitive mechanisms, unlike AI which relies on data, models and computing power. The use of the cloud facilitates the interconnection between the different levels, from strategic to tactical. It allows data to be stored and made available, and computing power to be increased and distributed. The combination of these technologies makes it possible to "augment" human decisional intelligence.

  • Major General Stefano CONT, Capability, Armament and Planning Director, European Defence Agency (EDA)

  • Brigadier General Philippe BARTHELEMY, Officer in charge of the digital transformation of the Armies, Joint Staff

  • Chief Armaments Engineer Edouard GALLAND, Head of the IS division command and control of operations, intelligence, French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) 

  • Chief Armaments Engineer Edouard GEOFFROIS, European Defence Fund, Directorate General for Defense Industry and Space (DG DEFIS), European Commission

  • Bernard CLERMONT, Director of Innovation, John Cockerill

14:30 - 16:00 - Session V: Operational information and communication systems and the need for interoperabilit


In NATO and in coalition operations generally, the interoperability of C2 systems has become an imperative. Increasingly network-centric operations require greater cooperation between allied Nations. Can the irruption of AI impact the interoperability of systems, but also the doctrines and conduct of joint operations?

  • Major General Thierry LASSERRE, Commander of Communication and Information Systems (COMSIC), French Land Staff

  • Major General Pierre-Joseph GIVRE, Director of of the Command Doctrine and Command Teaching (CDEC)

  • Hugues MANDOUL, Sales & Business Development Manager, Trulifi Public Sector & Education, Southern Europe at Signify

16:00-16:15 : Closing address

  • Major General Jean Bouillaud, Chief of Staff, Rapid Reaction Corps - France (RRC-Fr)

 16:15-17:00 - Guided tour of the Citadel  

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