Simultaneously, industry has been increasing its investment in AI. In 2016, Google Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai said, “Machine learning [a subfield of AI] is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything. We are thoughtfully applying it across all our products, be it search, ads, YouTube, or Play. And we’re in early days, but you will see us — in a systematic way — apply machine learning in all these areas.” (White House, 2016).
Present AI-enabled Products:
“Currently relevant examples of the regulatory challenges that AI-enabled products present are found in the cases of automated vehicles (AVs, such as self-driving cars) and AI-equipped unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or “drones”). In the long run, AVs will likely save many lives by reducing driver error and increasing personal mobility, and UAS will offer many economic benefits. Yet public safety must be protected as these technologies are tested and begin to mature. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is using an approach to evolving the relevant regulations that is based on building expertise in the Department, creating safe spaces and test beds for experimentation, and working with industry and civil society to evolve performance-based regulations that will enable more uses as evidence of safe operation accumulates” (White House, 2016).
Recommendation to the States:
“Recommendation 1: Private and public institutions are encouraged to examine whether and how they can responsibly leverage AI and machine learning in ways that will benefit society. Social justice and public policy institutions that do not typically engage with advanced technologies and data science in their work should consider partnerships with AI researchers and practitioners that can help apply AI tactics to the broad social problems these institutions already address in other ways.
Recommendation 2: Federal agencies should prioritize open training data and open data standards in AI. The government should emphasize the release of datasets that enable the use of AI to address social challenges. Potential steps may include developing an “Open Data for AI” initiative with the objective of releasing a significant number of government data sets to accelerate AI research and galvanize the use of open data standards and best practices across government, academia, and the private sector” (White House, 2016).
Recommendation to the Federal Government:
“Recommendation 3: The Federal Government should explore ways to improve the capacity of key agencies to apply AI to their missions. For example, Federal agencies should explore the potential to create DARPA-like organizations to support high-risk, high-reward AI research and its application, much as the Department of Education has done through its proposal to create an “ARPA-ED,” to support R&D to determine whether AI and other technologies could significantly improve student learning outcomes.
Recommendation 4: The NSTC MLAI subcommittee should develop a community of practice for AI practitioners across government. Agencies should work together to develop and share standards and best practices around the use of AI in government operations. Agencies should ensure that Federal employee training programs include relevant AI opportunities” (White House, 2016).
“Over the past several years, in particular, issues concerning the development of so-called “Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems” (LAWS) have been raised by technical experts, ethicists, and others in the international community.79 The United States has actively participated in the ongoing international discussion on LAWS in the context of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW),80 and anticipates continued robust international discussion of these potential weapon systems going forward.
State Parties to the CCW are discussing technical, legal, military, ethical, and other issues involved with emerging technologies, although it is clear that there is no common understanding of LAWS. Some States have conflated LAWS with remotely piloted aircraft (military “drones”), a position which the United States opposes, as remotely-piloted craft are, by definition, directly controlled by humans just as manned aircraft are. Other States have focused on artificial intelligence, robot armies, or whether “meaningful human control” – an undefined term – is exercised over life-and-death decisions. The U.S. priority has been to reiterate that all weapon systems, autonomous or otherwise, must adhere to international” (White House, 2016).
US Government and the DoD:
“The U.S. government is also conducting a comprehensive review of the implications of autonomy in defense systems. In November 2012, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued DoD Directive 3000.09, “Autonomy in Weapon Systems,” which outlines requirements for the development and fielding of autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons. Weapon systems capable of autonomously selecting and engaging targets with lethal force require senior-level DoD reviews and approval before those weapon systems enter formal development and again before fielding. The DoD Directive neither prohibits nor encourages such development, but requires it to proceed carefully and only after review and approval by senior defense officials. Among other things, the DoD Directive requires that autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems are rigorously tested and that personnel are trained appropriately in their use to advance international norms pertaining to armed conflict” (White House, 2016).
“Recommendation 23: The U.S. Government should complete the development of a single, government-wide policy, consistent with international humanitarian law, on autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons” (White House, 2016).
These findings are showing how the current Obama Administration has worked on the matter and studied the use of AI in workforce and military. Together with the DoD, the DoD and usage of the AI and UAS. United States Government has made decisions, but has not apparently a current vision on how to use or how regulate the technology of the moment. What is problematic is that there are no common ground for the Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), neither the DoD Directive neither prohibits nor encourages such development, but requires it to proceed carefully and only after review and approval by senior defense officials. This shows the importance of the current regulations and how to develop the technology to use it in combat and in private sector in the US.
Certainly the Trump Administration has to work on this, but they will surely use this for their benefit. We can all wonder what they will use of this technology and the AI and UAS. Peace.
United States White House – ‘Science and Technology Council PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE Executive Office of the President National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology’ (October, 2016)