The world I’m building is like this: there are a bunch of technologically advanced countries. In these countries there is an elite class that holds all the power. The elite makes war and they have armies of robots (weapons are forbidden to lower classes). The lower classes and non-technological countries do not stand a chance in case of conflict.

The type of warfare I want in my world is somewhat old-fashioned: two armies meet and one of them prevails, only with robots and not soldiers. There is also some terrorism, also perpetrated by the elites, generally on other countries' elites. By terrorism, I mean things like assassination, bombings, etc. without claiming responsibility.

In other questions I have read that a humanoid shape is not the most efficient shape for a fighting robot. My robots can have non humanoid shapes, no problem; I have no strong preferences on this point. The robots are very sophisticated and equipped with AI but still robots. Humans are the ones controlling them in any kind of mission whether it involves a small group or a big battle. Humans make decisions on the field, prevent their army from being hacked, try to hack enemy robots etc. They are inside ships to be able to move and protect themselves.

The military is divided into land, sea and air forces. I'm not sure about this choice because a battle can easily take place in land and air at the same time, or sea and air, or even in land, sea and air at the same time.

My question is, what additional roles should humans take in this kind of warfare and what those posts be called? Note that I am a not an native English speaker and my translations might be weird. For example:

  • Strategists
  • Mission supervisors
  • Hackers and Counter-hackers (Electronic warfare)
  • Scouts
  • Spies
  • Maintenance engineers
  • Communication engineers
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    $\begingroup$ besides rule-of-cool, is there a specific reason why they don’t use current military terminology? $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2023 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Apr 28, 2023 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ To Blue Skin and Glowing Eyes: I like the term "strategists", it reminds me of Ancient Greece. The other names are due to my ignorance in military terminology. $\endgroup$
    – Ramon
    Apr 28, 2023 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited the question, I hope it is clearer now. $\endgroup$
    – Ramon
    Apr 28, 2023 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ Surely you're missing the two most important roles: public relations, and salespeople. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2023 at 19:13

3 Answers 3


As Few As Possible

There are a whole host of advantages to robot soldiers if you can eliminate the disadvantages.

  • Humans are slow to respond
  • Humans are slow to train / replace.
  • Humans are often more expensive than robots
  • Humans can disagree with orders

If you're someone with a robot army, you're going to want as few humans involved in any sort of decision-making capacity as possible. This, of course, might be mediated by the society in which you live; somewhere with a strong tradition of civilian control of the military might want more humans in the loop.

In terms of positions in which you're already suggesting human intervention, I think scouts, spies, and "hackers/counter-hackers" are all positions that can be dispensed with, at least in a war setting. A tiny drone is a much better scout than a human. A human spy might be able to infiltrate governments and command centres, but on the battlefield, a flurry of drones is going to collect much more information.

Hacking, IRL, is something that takes days or weeks of preparation and exploration. No one's doing it in realtime during combat. They'll be using scripts and pre-programmed macros - and AI/expert systems are better at doing that than humans. Humans might remain in that loop as researchers, far behind the front lines, but they're going to be at headquarters, not deployed as part of the army.

Similarly, if you've got the ability to make humanoid robots, maintenance is probably something you'd automate to the highest possible degree. Being able to crank out a division and its support staff from a factory is infinitely more desirable than having to train up a staff of robotics techs.

So my answer would be that you'd have mission supervisors, planners, and strategists, all using expert systems to aid their work... and teams of robotics engineers and programmers in some boring buildings back home, improving designs. Given the tech level you're implying, humans could and should be eliminated entirely from the battlefield.


There is an often overlooked thing that often plays a decisive role in wars.


Logistics alone can't win you a war but it can sure lose it for you if you suck at it. It isn't sexy or cool, there are no spectacular explosions and stuff (well, not intentionally), but it's critical to any war.

Of course logistics isn't just a single role, you need to organise the transport of troops and materials, you need engineers to design and build various stuff, you need to keep track of stocks and production, and so on.

Depending on the sophistication of your technology, some of this can be automated. But war has a nasty habit of bringing unpredictable situations where you need to improvise and improvise well. Can your AI do it? If it can't, you need people.

P.s.: Oh, and at the very least you also need people who train your troops and medics who treat their injuries and illnesses.

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    $\begingroup$ AI can help, but I need people $\endgroup$
    – Ramon
    Apr 28, 2023 at 19:26

I think they would all be called Programmers Or AI engineers.

You can make a fighter airframe that can stand 20G. Few pilots go above 10. You cannot remotely control the aircraft: it won't be fast enough and your signals could be jammed. So you have to make your fighters (aircraft and others) act autonomously, or cooperatively. You give them a job, set them going, and hope they are up to it.

Maybe a few people right at the top would be called something else. They would be the ones who decided whether the war should be fought - not whether it could be won, but whether it was worth winning.


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