Pentagon AI more ethical than adversaries’ because of ‘Judeo-Christian society,’ USAF general says
The path to ethical AI is a “very important discussion” being held at DOD’s “very highest levels,” says service’s programs chief.
An Air Force general said the Pentagon’s code of ethics surrounding the use of artificial intelligence is better than some other countries' because of the United States’ “Judeo-Christian” foundation.
“Regardless of what your beliefs are, our society is a Judeo-Christian society and we have a moral compass. Not everybody does, and there are those that are willing to go for the ends regardless of what means have to be employed, and we'll have to be ready for that,” Lt. Gen. Richard Moore, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, said Thursday at a Hudson Institute event.
“What will the adversary do? It depends who plays by the rules of warfare and who doesn't. There are societies that have a very different foundation than ours,” Moore said.
The three-star spoke the same week as experts testified on Capitol Hill about the dangers of allowing China to beat the U.S. in the race to harness the power of AI.
Moore said the Pentagon’s latest budget request takes a stab at exploring ethical AI through “several forms.”
“The first one is what do we think we're allowed to let AI do, the second one is how do we know how the algorithm made decisions and do we trust it, and the third one is at what point are we ready to let the algorithm start doing some things on its own that maybe we are or aren’t comfortable with.”
The path to using AI ethically is a “very important discussion” and is being held at the “very highest levels” of the Defense Department, Moore said.
In 2019, the Defense Innovation Board advisory group issued a report that urged Pentagon leaders to strive to make their AI systems responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable, and governable.
More recently, the U.S. has begun trying to rally other nations to agree to norms affecting military uses of AI.
Patrick Tucker contributed to this report.