Jan. 10, 2020
The Ethics of Acquiring Disruptive Technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Weapons, and Decision Support Systems
Reluctance to develop AI applications for military purposes is not going to go away as the development, acquisition, and employment of these systems challenge the traditional norms associated with not just warfighting but morality in general. Meanwhile, as the debate rages, adversaries of the United States who do not have these ethical concerns continue with their development. China, for example, has vowed to be the leader in AI by 2030. No one should have any illusions that the Chinese will not use this dominance for military as well as civilian purposes. So, to maintain parity, if not advantage, DOD has little choice but to proceed with the development and employment of artificially intelligent systems. As it does so, ethical concerns will continue to arise, potentially excluding important expertise for their development. To include this expertise, DOD needs to confront these concerns upfront.