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DOD Needs ‘Checks and Balances’ in AI Development, Officials Say

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DOD Needs ‘Checks and Balances’ in AI Development, Officials Say

The Department of Defense should implement "checks and balances" throughout the development processes of weapons based on artificial intelligence, according to one of the department's AI leaders.

Brig. Gen. Matt Easley, director of the Army Futures Command's AI task force, said the Army must rigorously test its unmanned systems to ensure that its soldiers can adapt to different environments, C4ISRNET reported Thursday

“We don’t think these systems are going to be 100 percent capable right out of the box,” he said, comparing the DOD's AI development to the evolution of self-driving cars.

"We in the Army have to learn how to go from doing one to two to three vehicle experiments to have many experiments going on every day across all our camp posts and stations," he added. 

The Pentagon's Joint AI Center is reportedly working on several lethality projects, including an AI-based technology that can pinpoint the weak spots of enemy vehicles. 

Meanwhile, the Army's AI task force is developing an advanced threat recognition tool and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is creating an AI-based path-finding tool for routing available combat support assets. 

“We want safe, reliable and robust systems deployed to our warfighters. We want to be able to trust those systems. We want to have some sort of measure of predictability even if those systems act unpredictably,” said Heather Roff, a senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

Roff added that operators, commanders and judge advocates general need to better understand such new technologies to ensure "human responsibility and governability."

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Tags: AI Army Futures Command artificial intelligence Artificial Intelligence Task Force C4ISRNET DARPA Department of Defense Matt Easley Popular Voices unmanned systems