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The Pentagon is ‘Absolutely Unapologetic’ About Pursuing AI-Powered Weapons

On Wednesday, US Department of Defense officials defended the department’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in new weapons systems, arguing that all its projects involving AI are subject to ethical frameworks and international law, which they said is unlikely to be the case in countries like China.

One official stated that criticism of the use of AI for military purposes is based on “grave misperceptions about what [the department] is actually working on,” while another official stressed that “[t]he Department of Defense is absolutely unapologetic about pursuing this new generation of AI-enabled weapons,” especially because investing in such systems is inevitable “[i]f we’re going to succeed against a competitor like China that’s all in on this competition.”

Many technology experts have warned that the integration of AI in weapons systems poses a threat to humanity. Earlier this month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates compared AI to nuclear technology in the sense that both technologies are “both promising and dangerous,” adding that the development of AI “is most concerning […] in weapon systems.” CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk this month called cutting edge AI more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

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