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Pentagon Adopts New Ethical Principles for Using AI in War

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The Pentagon on Monday rolled out a series of ethical principles that would govern the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield, following 15 months of consultations with leading figures in industry, academia, and the government.

Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

The Pentagon is adopting new ethical principles as it prepares to accelerate its use of artificial intelligence technology on the battlefield.

The new principles call for people to "exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care" when deploying and using AI systems, such as those that scan aerial imagery to look for targets.

They also say decisions made by automated systems should be "traceable" and "governable," which means "there has to be a way to disengage or deactivate" them if they are demonstrating unintended behavior, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.


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