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Book Sections Year : 2019

Swarm-Teams With Digital Exoskeleton


This chapter explores how the military useS digitalization of the battlefield to try to reorganize and further routinize work and collective action by soldiers on the ground. Military fascination with animal swarms and their network analytical models leads to a representation of war as fight between self-organized (and to some extent unpredictable) teams scaling up linearly to entire battalions adapting flexibly, almost organically, to battleground tasks. Digitalization focuses on engineering and steering these teams and battalions with support from artificial intelligence that brings together and analyses big data and social network data in and around the battlefield in real time. In this case in point, social digitalization introduces a new kind of bureaucratization with the ‘swarm template’ as a model of organization of work using soldiers’ digital straightjacket to remote control their teams and neutralize their oppositional solidarities) – a model that is likely to spread later on in the organizational society at large, and to shape more mundane, everyday practices. Here the ‘transformational capacity’ of these technologies appears to be associated with, indeed often driven by, mathematical models of swarms as normative metaphors of collective action of teams and between teams.
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hal-02615244 , version 1 (22-05-2020)



Emmanuel Lazega. Swarm-Teams With Digital Exoskeleton: On new military templates for the organizational society. Ismael Al-Amoudi; Emmanuel Lazega. Post-Human Institutions and Organizations, Routledge, 2019, 9780815377948. ⟨hal-02615244⟩
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