As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology grows, military applications of AI are becoming more commonplace. Recently, the U.S. State Department proposed a new international plan that aims to limit the power of military AI. At the heart of the proposal is the desire to ensure that governments exercise responsible oversight and meaningful human control over AI-assisted military systems.
The proposal follows a meeting of U.S. diplomats with their counterparts from across the globe to discuss the responsible use of AI. While some countries have taken steps to regulate AI users, it still remains largely unregulated in some parts of the world. The State Department hopes that this proposal will create a globally accepted framework of AI usage, specifically in the military space.
The proposal is aimed at limiting the autonomy of powerful military AI systems from making their own decisions without human oversight. For example, it would limit autonomous weapons from carrying out lethal tasks. It also calls for proactive safety measures, emphasizing the need for ‘human-in-the-loop’ control, which would enable the end user to approve or deny a response in the case of an autonomous system. This would ensure that no decisions are taken without the human being aware.
The plan will also call for regular government and independent audits to ensure that the AI systems are working as intended while remaining compliant with international treaties and laws. Additionally, the proposal specifically calls for greater transparency and accountability in the use of AI-powered systems, so that governments can keep track of how their military AI systems are performing and better understand their capabilities.
The State Department’s proposal is a much needed step towards creating global standards when it comes to military AI. It is important that governments ensure that the use and development of AI technology remains under their control and is used responsibly. In the future, we can only hope these standards will form the basis of a broader, international pact regarding the use of AI in all aspects of life.
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