Edited by Desi Tzoneva
In June 2016, the US Defence Science Board (DSB) released a report devoted to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The report is a lengthy document containing sophisticated terms and curious conclusions.
In summary, its authors claim that the Pentagon has succeeded in repelling numerous hacker attacks on the American government. Thus, as the problem of unauthorised intrusions in US military servers has almost been resolved, the scientists believe that it is time for the government to invest in the military’s AI programme. The 25-year project is ambitious and includes plans to develop autonomous AI-controlled weaponry.
Robert Work, an American military expert and the current US Deputy Secretary of Defence, believes that the US government should start analysing the AI development programmes of other countries in order to create a system of counter-measures against potential enemy AI attacks.
Since the authors of the report claim that Russia and China do not have any legal restrictions on AI development, they have concluded that these countries may currently be developing AI weapons systems.
Although the Pentagon does not have information about any AI military projects in Russia or China, the US officials nevertheless believe that counter-measures must be developed as soon as possible. Thus, the American military councillors consider that AI and US autonomy will be the main aims of the US military industry over the next 25 years.
Work believes that the most promising research vector is increasing the cooperation between the AI and the human mind. In other words, both the AI robot and the operator should be able to make joint decisions on how to act in combat.
Work claims that over the next 10 to 15 years, the US military will concentrate on developing partially-autonomous war machines. In other words, these “partially-intelligent” robots will only be able to act according to pre-set parameters and will not make their own decisions. The military expert also adds that Russia and China have already started a similar project.
It seems that the Pentagon has plenty of work for the next 25 years, especially, in view of the fact that Russia and China are currently working on a new generation of autonomous weapons. Even if there is no proof of this fact, US military experts like Work believe that such proof is not necessary.
It is evident that the respected members of the US DSB are professionals and know exactly what they are doing. However, perhaps, they should devote more time to rest and watch fewer science-fiction movies.