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Artificial intelligence panel urges US to boost tech skills amid China's rise

Boston Herald

An artificial intelligence commission led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is urging the U.S. to boost its AI skills to counter China, including by pursuing "AI-enabled" weapons -- something that Google itself has shied away from on ethical grounds. Schmidt and current executives from Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon are among the 15 members of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which released its final report to Congress on Monday. "To win in AI we need more money, more talent, stronger leadership," Schmidt said Monday. The report says that machines that can "perceive, decide, and act more quickly" than humans and with more accuracy are going to be deployed for military purposes -- with or without the involvement of the U.S. and other democracies. It warns against unchecked use of autonomous weapons but expresses opposition to a global ban. It also calls for "wise restraints" on the use of AI tools such as facial recognition that can be used for mass surveillance.


US has 'moral imperative' to develop AI weapons, says panel

The Guardian

The US should not agree to ban the use or development of autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence (AI) software, a government-appointed panel has said in a draft report for Congress. The panel, led by former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, on Tuesday concluded two days of public discussion about how the world's biggest military power should consider AI for national security and technological advancement. Its vice-chairman, Robert Work, a former deputy secretary of defense, said autonomous weapons are expected to make fewer mistakes than humans do in battle, leading to reduced casualties or skirmishes caused by target misidentification. "It is a moral imperative to at least pursue this hypothesis," he said. For about eight years, a coalition of non-governmental organisations has pushed for a treaty banning "killer robots", saying human control is necessary to judge attacks' proportionality and assign blame for war crimes.


The Real Reason Why Blackstone Is Courting The Pentagon

#artificialintelligence

One of Wall Street's largest private equity firms, the Blackstone Group, has been making a series of moves that have left mainstream analysts puzzled, with the most recent being Blackstone's hire of David Urban, a Washington lobbyist with close ties to the Trump administration. Blackstone's courting of a Trump ally was not surprising given that the firm's CEO, Steven Schwarzman, recently donated $3 million to Trump's re-election efforts and had previously chaired the President's now-defunct Strategic and Policy Forum of "business leaders" and advisors. The close ties that have developed between Schwarzman and Trump following the latter's election in late 2016 have led mainstream media to describe Schwarzman as a confidant of the President. However, what was odd about Blackstone's hiring of David Urban was its murky reason for doing so, as the firm plans to task Urban with lobbying the Pentagon and State Department on "issues related to military preparedness and training." This is odd, as CNBC noted, because Blackstone "doesn't have any publicly listed government contracts, and its known investments don't appear to have direct links to the defense industry."


Democrats dominate artificial intelligence commission

#artificialintelligence

A new federal commission on artificial intelligence is being led by Democrats. The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI), a federally appointed commission, held its first meeting Monday chaired by former Google executive and billionaire Eric Schmidt, a major donor and informal adviser to former President Barack Obama. The commission's vice chairman is Robert Work, who was deputy defense secretary in the Obama administration. Additionally, the AI commission has hired as a staff member Ylli Bajraktari, a former National Security Council staff member under Mr. Obama. Mr. Bajraktari also was a former aide to Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter.


Panel on artificial intelligence urges US to boost tech skills amid China's rise

#artificialintelligence

An artificial intelligence commission led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is urging the U.S. to boost its AI skills to counter China, including by pursuing "AI-enabled" weapons – something that Google itself has shied away from on ethical grounds. Schmidt and current executives from Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon are among the 15 members of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which released its final report to Congress on Monday. "To win in AI we need more money, more talent, stronger leadership," Schmidt said Monday. The report says that machines that can "perceive, decide, and act more quickly" than humans and with more accuracy are going to be deployed for military purposes -- with or without the involvement of the U.S. and other democracies. It warns against unchecked use of autonomous weapons but expresses opposition to a global ban.