Preparing for the future, scenario #3: From William's diary, a soldier in a new type of war
August 4, 2023 14:47

Preparing for the future has always been our leitmotiv, and as we want to bring trust in Digital, we need to ask ourselves the right questions and anticipate for some unseen obstacles: What if the technology gets out of control? How will climate change shape tomorrow’s world? How do we, as humans, interact with each other in the age of AI? We’ve thought some of these questions through with Usbek&Rica and imagined futuristic scenarios describing what the future could look like, based on the choices we make today. 


We have lost. We have been overwhelmed by relentless waves of low-cost drones, made from common electronic components on the civilian market. And our high-tech equipment has been overwhelmed. 

Preparing for the wrong war 

We thought that what would be problematic for us would be to refuse, by ethical choice, to deploy lethal autonomous weapons systems. But in the end, it was our lack of anticipation of climate change and our overconfidence in technology that cost us dearly. 

The worst-case scenario 

When one of our overseas territories was attacked, our nuclear deterrence was defeated: the aggression was carried out by militias, armed fishing vessels without flags, fighters without uniforms and drones. We had no choice, we had to intervene to take back the French territories by force. 

The wrong model of forces 

But our model had become too sample-based. Manufacturers had never ceased to lead the race for hyper technology. But that had a price, which the Nation could no longer afford. So we only had a few copies of each material. A handful of aircraft, a handful of tanks… A handful of hyper-trained and hyper-connected fighters. 

The lack of climate anticipation 

This whole beautiful system was based on the infovalorization of the battlefield, superior means of detection, transmission, and communication, on reliable and available energy. We were supposed to "win the war before the war" by showing lightning. But nothing went as planned. 

Our systems were designed for "normal" weather conditions. Humidity levels and heat waves have become staggering in the tropics. Deadly within hours. Men and machines began to falter very quickly. 

The triumph of robots 

As soon as night fell, the robots came out. Everywhere. They had been scattered by our adversaries in every corner of the islands, in shipwrecks, even under water. We neutralized hundreds, but thousands arrived. Primitive, unintelligent, driven by rustic sensors and simple algorithms, they have crushed us in numbers. We were waiting for Terminator, we were overcome by the heat and a swarm of toaster boxes. 

And the next day, a handful of guys in jeans, with a Kalashnikov and a cell phone, came out of their hole to take us prisoner. 

Preparing for the future, scenario #3: From William's diary, a soldier in a new type of war