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Pentagon Publishes Guide to Ethical Wartime Use of AI

November 04, 2019 / Sarah Coble

A Pentagon advisory board has published a set of guidelines on the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) during warfare. In "AI Principles: Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence by the Department of Defense," the Defense Innovation Board (DIB) shied away from actionable proposals in favor of high-level ethical goals. In its recommendations, the board wrote that the Department of Defense's AI systems should be responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable, and governable. Since AI systems are tools with no legal or moral agency, the board wrote that human beings must remain responsible for their development, deployment, use, and outcomes. As far as being equitable, the board wrote that the Department of Defense (DoD) "should take deliberate steps to avoid unintended bias in the development and deployment of combat or non-combat AI systems that would inadvertently cause harm to persons."