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Pentagon Seeks a List of Ethical Principles for Using AI in War

January 07, 2019 / Patrick Tucker

U.S. defense officials have asked the Defense Innovation Board for a set of ethical principles in the use of artificial intelligence in warfare. The principles are intended to guide a military whose interest in AI is accelerating witness the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and to reassure potential partners in Silicon Valley about how their AI products will be used. Today, the primary document laying out what the military can and can’t do with AI is a 2012 doctrine that says a human being must have veto power over any action an autonomous system might take in combat. It’s brief, just four pages, and doesn’t touch on any of the uses of AI for decision support, predictive analytics, etc. where players like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others are making fast strides in commercial environments.