Artificial intelligence (AI) has opened the doors of limitless possibilities, and its applications have grown more since then. However, it’s not only for everyday people as world leaders also took a step forward towards a more extensive agenda.
With the Republic of Korea as its co-host, the Netherlands headed the Responsible AI in the Military Domain (REAIM), a two-day global summit at the World Forum. As the title implies, the conference discussed three main points:
- The opportunities and drawbacks of its technical aspect;
- Proper deployment in the military; and
- The role of government in ensuring its responsible use.
This event marks the potential part AI will play in the future. But what’s even more significant is the initiative of world leaders to work with each other towards one common goal. The REAIM 2023 official website states its purpose:
“The aim of REAIM 2023 is to agree on a common international agenda that will ensure the responsible development, deployment and use of AI in the military domain, within the parameters set by international law.”
AI-Assisted Military Operations
The conference greeted the audience with a thought-provoking video based on a made-up story about the opportunities and problems AI may bring to military operations. While it’s helpful for the team to have an AI that reports fast, they couldn’t risk the lives of the innocent, given that its info may have been inaccurate due to outdated training data.
But the scenario was only one of the many things the program aimed to tackle; the discussion got even more complex as the speakers voiced their thoughts on this emerging technology.
General Onno Eichelsheim, Chief of Defense of the Netherlands Armed Forces, was the first to share his perspective on AI. He mentioned that the military’s value wouldn’t only depend on the number of forces a country has but also on how well algorithms work. Thus, the reliability of AI is crucial in this aspect, as its primary function will be for decision-making processes.
While General Eichelsheim looked into the future, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Dr. Agnès Callamard, highlighted the importance of acting now. One of her main concerns is the possibility of AI being a tool to make wars even dirtier, considering the biases that may happen on the field.
PAX voor vrede, a Twitter user, shared a short clip of her:
Dr. Steven Walker also talked about his experiences creating secure technology systems as a response to the responsible use of AI. He claimed that there are essential steps to achieve the said goal, including testing, evaluation, verification, and validation of the tech. This procedure is similar to what his team currently does at Lockheed Martin.
Aside from the talk, REAIM 2023 invited other guests to explain their AI products and how they can assist in operations. One of the tech developments was SPOT, a four-legged robot that TNO designed to help and save people during critical situations. Its capabilities include searching areas to find victims, sending data to rescuers and more.
All these were only some of the critical topics covered in the global summit. There are a lot more details to discuss while the world continues to move towards the responsible use of AI in the military domain.
War Advances with AI
Some are busy experimenting with AIs like ChatGPT and Midjourney using prompts, but others are already incorporating the tech to have an edge in war. Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently made headlines about his new tactics in testing military weapons.
According to reports, Schmidt is one of Istari’s investors. It’s a startup company that focuses on digitizing physical models. This way, clients can simulate their products and determine areas of improvement. The same applies to military weapons. He also claimed that such a technology would help bring advantages to military teams.
“This unlocks the possibility of software-like agility for future physical systems. It is very exciting.”Eric Schmidt
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