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DoD Policy Calls for "Responsible AI" in Defense Procurements of Artificial Intelligence

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As the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) seeks to increase funding for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for defense and national security purposes, a new policy memorandum directs the DoD to take steps to ensure that AI is designed, developed, and deployed in a responsible manner. In a May 26, 2021, memorandum titled "Implementing Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Defense," Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks calls for the incorporation of responsible AI principles into the DoD's AI requirements and acquisition processes. Ms. Hicks wrote: "As the DoD embraces [AI], it is imperative that we adopt responsible behavior, processes, and outcomes in a manner that reflects the Department's commitment to its ethical principles, including the protection of privacy and civil liberties." The memorandum outlines six "foundational tenets" for the DoD to implement "Responsible AI" across the DoD. It also reaffirms the DoD's AI Ethical Principles and confirms that they apply to all DoD AI capabilities of any scale, including AI-enabled autonomous systems.


DOD adopts 'ethical principles' for Artificial Intelligence

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NEW YORK - 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. Defense Department officials outlined the new approach Monday. "The United States, together with our allies and partners, must accelerate the adoption of AI and lead in its national security applications to maintain our strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard the rules-based international order," said Defense Secretary Mark Esper. It follows recommendations made last year by the Defense Innovation Board, a group led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.


DOD Adopts Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence

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The U.S. Department of Defense officially adopted a series of ethical principles for the use of Artificial Intelligence today following recommendations provided to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper by the Defense Innovation Board last October. The recommendations came after 15 months of consultation with leading AI experts in commercial industry, government, academia and the American public that resulted in a rigorous process of feedback and analysis among the nation's leading AI experts with multiple venues for public input and comment. "The United States, together with our allies and partners, must accelerate the adoption of AI and lead in its national security applications to maintain our strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard the rules-based international order," said Secretary Esper. "AI technology will change much about the battlefield of the future, but nothing will change America's steadfast commitment to responsible and lawful behavior. The adoption of AI ethical principles will enhance the department's commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards as outlined in the DOD AI Strategy, while embracing the U.S. military's strong history of applying rigorous testing and fielding standards for technology innovations."


U.S. Department of Defense Adopts Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence Defense Media Network

#artificialintelligence

The U.S. Department of Defense officially adopted a series of ethical principles for the use of Artificial Intelligence today following recommendations provided to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper by the Defense Innovation Board last October. The recommendations came after 15 months of consultation with leading AI experts in commercial industry, government, academia and the American public that resulted in a rigorous process of feedback and analysis among the nation's leading AI experts with multiple venues for public input and comment. "The United States, together with our allies and partners, must accelerate the adoption of AI and lead in its national security applications to maintain our strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard the rules-based international order," said Secretary Esper. "AI technology will change much about the battlefield of the future, but nothing will change America's steadfast commitment to responsible and lawful behavior. The adoption of AI ethical principles will enhance the department's commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards as outlined in the DOD AI Strategy, while embracing the U.S. military's strong history of applying rigorous testing and fielding standards for technology innovations."


Who should answer the ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence?

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Continuing advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) for use in both the public and private sectors warrant serious ethical consideration. As the capability of AI improves, the issues of transparency, fairness, privacy, and accountability associated with using these technologies become more serious. Many developers in the private sector acknowledge the threats AI poses and have created their own codes of ethics to monitor AI development responsibly. However, many experts believe government regulation may be required to resolve issues ranging from racial bias in facial recognition software to the use of autonomous weapons in warfare. On Sept. 14, the Center for Technology Innovation hosted a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution to consider the ethical dilemmas of AI.