March 15, 2019

Here’s the Key Innovation in DARPA AI Project: Ethics From the Start

Source: Defense One

Journalist: Paulina Glass

A new effort to build patrol drones for urban fights began by forming an ethics advisory board.

A DARPA program seeks AI-infused drones that can help prevent friendly fire and civilian casualties in urban battles. But the truly innovative part of the URSA effort might be the inclusion of ethics advisors from the very start.

“It’s the first time we’ve considered this program approach. Certainly [before] we might consider it at the end,” said Lt. Col. Philip Root, program manager for the Urban Reconnaissance through Supervised Autonomy program. “It’s not that program managers shy away from that, but here we wanted to try something different which was invoke this analysis early on, and it’s proven to be absolutely essential.”

Root said URSA aims to collect information about people in complex warfighting environments, in order to help humans understand who is a threat.

Read the full article and more on Defense One.


  • 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...