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Defense and Intelligence

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks Highlights Responsible AI Implementation in Memo

Artificial intelligence

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks Highlights Responsible AI Implementation in Memo

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks reiterated the need for a responsible and ethical implementation of artificial intelligence technologies as the Department of Defense moves to integrate AI into its systems and processes.

In a memo released recently, the 2021 Wash100 winner wrote that the principles build on the Pentagon’s existing legal, safety and policy frameworks. The five principles dictate that AI be responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable and governable, Defense .gov reported

The principles are collectively geared toward creating technically competent AI technologies while maximizing human control and minimizing unintended consequences, including bias.

“As the DOD embraces artificial intelligence, 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,” Hicks said in the department-wide memo.

Hicks added that responsible AI implementation is an effort that requires strong leadership, governance, oversight and sustained engagement within the Pentagon

The deputy secretary’s statement is an affirmation of the ethical principles that the Defense Innovation Board adopted in February 2020 for the design, development, deployment and use of AI capabilities.

Following the principles’ first announcement, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, a three-time Wash100 winner, said the United States and its allies must accelerate the adoption of AI in its national security applications to dominate future warfare. 

Alka Patel, an AI ethics official in the DOD’s Joint AI Center, previously said that trustworthiness is important for AI’s ability to enable autonomy, decision-making and system execution at fast speeds. 

The department is also working with its allies and partners to ensure that they are on the same page regarding ethics’ importance in interoperability, Patel added.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: AI artificial intelligence Defense and Intelligence Defense.gov Department of Defense Deputy Secretary of Defense DoD ethics JAIC Kathleen Hicks lka Patel Mark Esper Wash100