The United States has announced a new initiative to promote international cooperation on the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI)
and autonomous weapons by militaries. The initiative comes amid growing concerns about the potential risks of AI spiraling out of control and changing the way war is waged.
The US political declaration, which was launched at a two-day conference in The Hague, contains 12 non-legally binding guidelines outlining best practices for responsible military use of AI. The guidelines include ensuring that military uses of AI are consistent with international law, maintaining human control and involvement over nuclear weapons employment, and developing national frameworks and strategies on responsible AI in the military domain.
Conference with 60 Nations Including China
The conference, which was attended by 60 nations including China
, also issued a call for action urging broad cooperation in the development and responsible military use of AI. The call to action stressed “the importance of ensuring appropriate safeguards and human oversight of the use of AI systems” and invited countries “to develop national frameworks, strategies and principles on responsible AI in the military domain.”
Bonnie Jenkins, the State Department's under secretary for arms control and international security, said that as a rapidly changing technology, AI has an obligation to create strong norms of responsible behavior concerning military uses of AI. She said that the US declaration “can be a focal point for international cooperation.”
The conference took on additional urgency as advances in drone technology amid Russia's war in Ukraine have accelerated a trend that could soon bring fully autonomous fighting robots to the battlefield. Ukraine's digital transformation minister Mykhailo Fedorov told The Associated Press that fully autonomous killer drones are “a logical and inevitable next step” in weapons development. He said Ukraine has been doing “a lot of R&D in this direction.”
Russia not Invited
Zachary Kallenborn, a George Mason University weapons innovation analyst who attended the Hague conference, said that it was significant that Washington included a call for human control over nuclear weapons because it is easily the highest risk when it comes to autonomous weapons. He also said that the US move to take its approach to the international stage “recognizes that there are these concerns about autonomous weapons.”
Tan Jian, China's ambassador to Netherlands, said that Beijing has sent two papers to United Nations on regulating military AI applications
, saying that issue “concerns common security and well-being of mankind.” He said it requires united response from all countries.
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