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Pentagon Lays Down Ground Rules For AI

Robot Soldiers

There are voices saying that it is high time the US army clarified its policy on AI. And Pentagon has answered. It has published AI guidelines, a document that guides the use of artificial intelligence in both combat and non-combat scenarios.

The document comes from the Defense Innovation Board, which is a group of 16 heavy hitters that counts names like Eric Schmidt, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Reid Hoffman in its members list.

AI Principles: Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence by the Department of Defense is the document you are looking for. It attempts to lay out ground rules for the use of artificial intelligence technology early on.

Basically, providing the military with a framework on which to build its AI systems.

As the guidelines document says:

“Now is the time, at this early stage of the resurgence of interest in AI, to hold serious discussions about norms of AI development and use in a military context – long before there has been an incident.”

The idea is basically to devise a framework that is important for the safe rollout of new technologies.

The guideline contains five main principles designed to keep AI driven systems in check, whether they are used for combat or other uses. Focus being on creating systems that are responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable, and governable.

No less than 12 recommendations are also part of the package to support these principles, including the creation of an AI steering committee, investment in research, and workforce AI training.

This whitepaper and the accompanying guidelines come at a good time. A time when the debate around using AI for military applications has been raging for a while, as investments in this sphere amp up around the globe.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been pressing the issue since 2013, while the UN has been questioning whether artificial intelligence should be used in weapons as far back as 2015.

We have some movement, at least!

Written by Fahad Ali

Fahad Ali is a professional freelancer, specializing in technology, web design and development and enterprise applications. He is the primary contributor to this website. When he is not typing away on his keyboard, he is relaxing to some soft jazz.

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