Sci-fi writers help French army imagine wars of future

A squad of sci-fi writers dubbed the 'Red Team' is helping the French army prepare for new technology conflict scenarios from 2030

3 January 2021
By Connexion journalist

Army officials tasked with imagining future wars and global threats, and what new technology might be used, have turned to the experts – science fiction writers.

A squad of 10 sci-fi writers, dubbed the Red Team, is now working alongside scientific and military experts to imagine potential hi-tech threats and conflict scenarios from 2030 to 2060.

They will work closely with scientific and military experts, grouped in a Purple Team, to help the army develop plans by imagining possible scenarios, including cybersecurity issues, pirate nations, robot soldiers, quantum, new strategic resources and even global warming.

Two scenarios have already been sketched out.

One features a group of well-funded and technologically-savvy Face/Off-inspired pirates who use deepfake imagery to conceal their identities.

The second foresees that, during a period of severe climate change, millions of people who refuse the implantation of obligatory microchips by governments across the world live in mobile seafaring favelas and plan to invade a South American nation to take control of its space and industrial centres.

The project is the brainchild of Emmanuel Chiva, director of the Defence Innovation Agency (AID), who said the aim is to have people on board who think “out of the box”.

Some of the Red Team’s ideas will be released to the public from this month but others will be classified for national security purposes.

Anyone hoping for Monsters vs Aliens or Terminator-style story arcs are likely to be disappointed as the squad is considering more serious, clear, present and realistic threats.

The 10 were selected from more than 600 applicants from the cultural, scientific and academic world.

They include screenwriter Xavier Dorison, novelist Laurent Genefort, sci-fi writer Virginie Tournay, author Xavier Mauméjean, writer Romain Lucazeau, cartoonist François Schuiten and student author Jeanne Bregeon.

Others have opted to remain anonymous.

More articles on tech and security in France:

How artificial intelligence is changing security

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