Artificial intelligence is a top modernization priority for the U.S. military, with officials envisioning a wide range of applications, from back office functions to tactical warfighting scenarios. But the Pentagon faces the daunting challenge of working through a plethora of ethical issues surrounding the technology while staying ahead of advanced adversaries who are pursuing their own capabilities.
Developers are making strides in AI, adding urgency to the department’s efforts to craft new policies for the ethical deployment of the capabilities. In August, heads were turned when an AI agent defeated a seasoned F-16 fighter pilot in a series of simulated combat engagements during the final round of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s “Alpha Dogfight” Trials. The agent, developed by Heron Systems, went undefeated with a record of 5-0 against the airman whose call sign was “Banger.”
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