In 2017 the Ministry of the Armed Forces launched the ambitious ARTEMIS.IA program [ARchitecture de Traitement et d’Exploitation Massive de l’Information multi-Sources] to have a “sovereign” solution for storing and processing all the data it is likely to produce using artificial intelligence [IA].

“Massive data processing is the new backbone of the war. This is what will allow us to make the right decision. Besides, we can’t depend on anyone, ”summed up Florence Parly, then Minister of the Armed Forces.

After an initial competitive phase and the establishment of an “ecosystem” made up of SMEs, young innovative companies and laboratories specialized in computer science and artificial intelligence, the General Directorate of Armaments [DGA] has entrusted this program to the tandem Thales and Atos, through their Athea joint venture, with Cap Gemini and Sopra Steria as subcontractors.

This second phase was to allow the development of “demonstrators” for the six use cases envisaged by ARTEMIS.IA.

We remind you that, entitled “aid for the exploitation of massive and heterogeneous data”, the first must lead to an “exploitation tool that allows the crossing of structured and unstructured data” that allows to perform “multidimensional analyzes on the basis of geographic data , temporal, relational or statistical criteria. ”The second concerns cybersecurity, with the ability to detect anomalies in“ large volumes of recorded events ”while the third concerns the monitoring of military health.

The fourth use case, called “technical and economic intelligence”, aims to facilitate the search for information in large masses of data and to synthesize it. Similarly, there is also talk of developing a “tool for the development of the maritime situation, exploiting the intersection of different data sources” to have the ability to identify and identify “behavioral patterns, even abnormal ones, and to predict the future. maritime situation. ”Finally, the sixth area covered by ARTEMIS.IA is that of maintenance in operational conditions [MCO]with the development of a forecast analysis and fleet management system [véhicules, aéronefs].

A priori, the demonstrators put to the test by the “operational users” in recent months have given full satisfaction. This motivated the Ministry of the Armed Forces to change gears.

In fact, with a press release issued on the evening of 10 July, the DGA indicated that the ARTEMIS.IA project had just entered a phase of industrialization, with the expected deployment of a first operational platform for massive data processing, the achievement of subsequent standards, training and support for a period of three years.

More precisely, this first application will concern the exploitation of multi-source information for intelligence purposes. It will be delivered in 2023. “The contract also provides for the deployment of future capabilities that will meet the specificities of other business areas, thus expanding the use of ARTEMIS.IA to all entities of the Ministry of the Armed Forces”, detailed the DGA , for which this program “will more generally constitute a highly secure and sovereign technical base of reference, capable of possibly irrigating other state projects in the field of artificial intelligence. “

Indeed, such a project must meet security requirements … As former parliamentarian Fabien Gouttefarde pointed out, in a budget opinion published in October 2021, it must “take into account the many specificities of the defense world which are the data protection, the multiplicity of networks and classification levels, the management of the need to know, access to algorithms and data, while responding to the problems of geographic distribution of data and users connected through often constrained military telecommunications resources in terms of bandwidth and speed “.

In this opinion, Mr. Gouttefarde expressed concern that the Ministry of the Armed Forces was “in the process of designing a super data analysis system that will only work in 3 years at the earliest, ie at a time in which practically all the technologies involved will have evolved ”.

On this point, the DGA rightly points out that ARTEMIS.IA was conceived “as a modular platform”, which will allow it to “benefit from future technological advances in the field of big data and artificial intelligence” in order to “respond better and better to changing needs of the department “.


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