January 24, 2019

Can the Pentagon build a bridge to the tech community?

Featuring Paul Scharre

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist David Ignatius

As the age of artificial intelligence transforms warfare, the Pentagon faces a delicate problem: How does it convince employees of high-tech companies based in the United States that Americans are still the “good guys,” so that they’ll lend their talents to U.S. national security projects?

The challenge is huge, given that Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and other tech giants see themselves as global companies with workers drawn from many nations. But tapping this talent base is essential for U.S. security — and fortunately, the Pentagon, after some false starts, is launching a creative effort to win the trust of suspicious software engineers who grew up in the shadow of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

The basic idea is to do AI “the American way,” as people used to say, by framing a set of clear, ethical rules through public debate. This AI Principles Project was launched in October by the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. The first major public meeting took place on Tuesday at Harvard, where Pentagon officials met with about a dozen AI experts, some of them strong critics of U.S. military actions.

Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.


  • Paul Scharre

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence...