Pentagon wants to invest $2 billion for more AI in weapons

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The U.S. Department of Defense has promised to invest $2 billion over the next five years in artificial intelligence (AI) systems for weapons. The systems should therefore increase the confidence of commanders in the army and become more acceptable.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sees the development of new technological solutions to military problems as its main task. The White House has already supported the addition of AI to more American weapons, in the hope that they will be better able to compete with Russia and China, reports The Verge.

Although the investment for the standards of the Pentagon is low, it is higher than all investments in AI programs so far. In July, part of the money was already spent. Booz Allen Hamilton then received a $885 million contract to work on unknown AI programs over the next five years.

Project Maven

In 2019, the Maven project, the army’s largest AI project, will receive 93 million dollars. Project Maven should improve the ability of computers to recognize objects in images. The program has only a military purpose, and is very controversial because it gives analytical military work to computers.

The project was led by Google, but in June the company said it would stop working when the contract expires. The reason is that Google employees protested because they don’t want to work on software that can help the army set targets to kill.

So far, however, it has not been permitted for computers to take lethal actions on their own. A Pentagon document that became public in August states that technology advances will soon make such weapons possible.

Little trust

Technically it’s already possible to choose a target and fire weapons, but so far commanders have been reluctant to surrender all control to an AI. The reason is that they don’t trust the reasoning of a machine, especially not on a battlefield where several variables can emerge that didn’t occur before.

With new technologies, the systems should be able to better explain why decisions are made. This would be important for the future of AI in the army.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.