The Pentagon is ‘Absolutely Unapologetic’ About Pursuing AI-Powered Weapons

Protecting the U.S. in the decades ahead will require the Pentagon to make “substantial, sustained” investments in military artificial intelligence, and critics need to realize it doesn’t take that task lightly, according to current and former Defense Department officials.

Efforts to expand the department’s use of AI systems have been met with public outcry among many in the tech and policy communities who worry the U.S will soon entrust machines to make life-and-death decisions on the battlefield. Last year, employee protests led Google to pull out an Air Force project that used machine-learning to sort through surveillance footage.

On Wednesday, officials said the Pentagon is going to great lengths to ensure any potential applications of AI adhere to strict ethical standards and international norms. Even if the U.S. military balks on deploying the tech, they warned, global adversaries like Russia and China certainly will not, and their ethical framework will likely be lacking.

“The Department of Defense is absolutely unapologetic about pursuing this new generation of AI-enabled weapons,” former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Wednesday at an event hosted by AFCEA’s Washington, D.C. chapter. “If we’re going to succeed against a competitor like China that’s all in on this competition … we’re going to have to grasp the inevitability of AI.” Read more: https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/03/pentagon-absolutely-unapologetic-about-pursuing-ai-powered-weapons/155877/

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