News  |    |  July 14, 2021

Ethics Key to AI Development, Secretary of Defense Austin Says

News article by C. Todd Lopez. Published in DOD News.


China — along with the United States and partners — are all hoping to come out on top when it comes to the mastery and application of artificial intelligence. But the Defense Department and its partners don’t just aim to be masters of AI, they aim to do it ethically, said the secretary of defense.

“China’s leaders have made clear they intend to be globally dominant in AI by the year 2030,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said during remarks to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. “Beijing already talks about using AI for a range of missions — from surveillance to cyberattacks to autonomous weapons.”

The U.S. military has its sights on the same target, Austin said. But its approach is going to be different.

“In the AI realm as in many others, we understand that China is our pacing challenge,” he said. “We’re going to compete to win, but we’re going to do it the right way. We’re not going to cut corners on safety, security or ethics. And our watchwords are ‘responsibility’ and ‘results.’ And we don’t believe for a minute that we have to sacrifice one for the other.”

The department’s “responsible AI” effort, Austin said, is at the center of ensuring the DOD does AI the right way. [ . . . ]

Related Transcript: Secretary of Defense Austin Remarks at the Global Emerging Technology Summit of The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (As Delivered on July 13, 2021)