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The U.S. military, algorithmic warfare, and big tech

[2019.11.08, Fri 18:05] The three spoke Tuesday in Washington, D.C. for the National Security Council on AI conference, which took place a day after the group delivered its first report to Congress with help from some of the biggest names in tech and AI - like Microsoft Research director Eric Horvitz, AWS CEO Andy Jassy, and Google Cloud chief scientist Andrew Moore. The Pentagon began a venture into algorithmic warfare and a range of AI projects with Project Maven, an initiative to work with tech companies like Google and startups like Clarifai. In a world of algorithmic warfare, Shanahan says the Pentagon needs to bring AI to service members at every level of the military so people with first-hand knowledge of problems can apply AI to achieve military goals. Algorithmic warfare is included in the National Security Council on AI draft report, which minces no words about the importance of AI to U.S. national security and states unequivocally that the "Development of AI will shape the future of power." "The convergence of the artificial intelligence revolution and the reemergence of great power competition must focus the American mind. These two factors threaten the United States' role as the world's engine of innovation and American military superiority," the report reads. The Maven computer vision work that Google did was for unarmed drones, Shanahan said, but the Maven episode revealed concerns tech workers may have about working with the military and highlighted the need to clearly communicate objectives. People concerned about the use of autonomous weapons should recognize that despite ample funding, the military has much bigger structural challenges to address today, issues raised in the NSCAI report that service members can't even use open source software or download the GitHub client.
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