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DOD Adopts Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence


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Seal of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The U.S. Department of Defenses ethical principles for the use of artificial intelligence apply to both combat and non-combat functions, and will assist the U.S. military in upholding legal, ethical, and policy commitments in the field of artificial intelligence.

Credit: Defense.gov

The U.S. Department of Defense officially adopted a series of ethical principles for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) today following recommendations provided to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper by the Defense Innovation Board last October.  
  
The recommendations came after 15 months of consultation with leading AI experts in commercial industry, government, academia and the American public that resulted in a rigorous process of feedback and analysis among the nation's leading AI experts with multiple venues for public input and comment. The adoption of AI ethical principles aligns with the DOD AI strategy objective directing the U.S. military lead in AI ethics and the lawful use of AI systems. 

"The United States, together with our allies and partners, must accelerate the adoption of AI and lead in its national security applications to maintain our strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard the rules-based international order," said Secretary Esper. "AI technology will change much about the battlefield of the future, but nothing will change America's steadfast commitment to responsible and lawful behavior. The adoption of AI ethical principles will enhance the department's commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards as outlined in the DOD AI Strategy, while embracing the U.S. military's strong history of applying rigorous testing and fielding standards for technology innovations."

These principles align closely with ongoing Trump Administration efforts to advance trustworthy AI technologies. Last year, President Trump launched the American AI Initiative, the U.S. national strategy for leadership in artificial intelligence, which promotes innovative uses of AI while protecting civil liberties, privacy and American values.

 

From Defense.gov
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