March 01, 2019

US Military Changing ‘Killing Machine’ Robo-tank Program After Controversy

Featuring Michael Horowitz

Source: Defense One

Journalist Patrick Tucker

It was a frightening and dramatic headline: “The US Army Wants to Turn Tanks Into AI-Powered Killing Machines.” The story, published this week in Quartz, details the new Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System, or ATLAS, which seeks to give ground combat vehicles the ability to “acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process.”

The response seems to have spooked the Army, which is now changing its request for information to better emphasize that the program will follow Defense Department policy on human control of lethal robots. They are also drafting talking points to further the new emphasis.

The robot’s ability to identify, target, and engage doesn’t mean “we’re putting the machine in a position to kill anybody,” one Army official told Defense One.

Read the full article and more in Defense One.

Authors

  • Michael Horowitz

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael C. Horowitz is a professor of political science and the interim director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at...