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Evolving towards military innovation: AI and the Australian Army

Neads, Alex; Farrell, Theo; Galbreath, David J.

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Theo Farrell

David J. Galbreath


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.


Neads, A., Farrell, T., & Galbreath, D. J. (2023). Evolving towards military innovation: AI and the Australian Army. Journal of Strategic Studies,

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 24, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Apr 26, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 26, 2023
Journal Journal of Strategic Studies
Print ISSN 0140-2390
Electronic ISSN 1743-937X
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


Published Journal Article (879 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
&copy; 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor &amp; Francis Group.<br /> This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

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