October 28, 2019

As AI joins battlefield, Pentagon seeks ethicist

Featuring Paul Scharre

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist Anna Mulrine Grobe

When the chief of the Pentagon’s new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center briefed reporters recently, he made a point of emphasizing the imminently practical – even potentially boring – applications of machine learning to the business of war.

There’s the “predictive maintenance” that AI can bring to Black Hawk helicopters, for example, and “intelligent business automation” likely to lead to exciting boosts in “efficiencies for back office functions,” Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said. There are humanitarian pluses, too: AI will help the Defense Department better manage disaster relief.

But for 2020, the JAIC’s “biggest project,” General Shanahan announced, will be what the center has dubbed “AI for maneuver and fires.” In lulling U.S. military parlance, that includes targeting America’s enemies with “accelerated sensor-to-shooter timelines” and “autonomous and swarming systems” of drones – reminders that war does, after all, often involve killing people.

Read the full story and more in The Christian Science Monitor.


  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is the award-winning author of Army ...