The Pentagon’s marching forward with AI weapons of war… responsibly.
This week, the Department of Defense released a lengthy 47-page document outlining the military’s plan to implement its responsible artificial intelligence principles, which basically seeks to integrate AI in the military without turning the world into a Terminator-esque hellscape. Though the DoD first outlined its ethical AI goals in 2020, this week’s Responsible Pathway to AI Development and Acceleration document details systematic ways the department plans to realize those claims and elevate them beyond mere wishful thinking.
In the document, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks defended the military’s pursuit of AI technology, claiming U.S. adversaries have increased their AI investment in ways that “threaten global security, peace, and stability.” The Pentagon wants to respond to that “threat” by ramping up investment at home.
“To maintain our military advantage in a digitally competitive world, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) must embrace AI technologies to keep pace with these evolving threats,” Hicks writes. “Harnessing new technology in lawful, ethical, responsible, and accountable ways is core to our ethos.”
The document provides a timeline of the Pentagon’s evolving attitudes toward ethical AI, noting the department has “matured its ethics framework to account for Al’s unique characteristics and the potential for unintended consequences.” Researchers outside of the military have shown AI systems can reinforce cultural biases and discriminate against people of color.
In general, these new guidelines, which add measurable goals for each of the DoD’s six foundational responsible AI tenets, are intended to “earn…