US panel advises against banning AI weapon development

28 January 2021 (Last Updated January 28th, 2021 10:15)

A US Government-appointed panel has recommended against banning the development of artificial intelligence (AI) software-driven weapons.

A US Government-appointed panel has recommended against banning the development of artificial intelligence (AI) software-driven weapons.

In a draft report for US Congress, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) panel gave its advice after concluding two days of public discussion on how the US should consider AI for national security and technology upgrades.

The panel is headed by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Panel vice-chairman Robert Work also advocated continuing with the development as autonomous weapons can reduce casualties or accidents caused by target misidentification.

The move comes as a coalition of non-governmental organisations has been advocating the ban on such technologies citing that human intellect is necessary to assess an attack’s proportionality.

The NSCAI panel also acknowledged the risks of autonomous weapons but noted that a ban on such systems will hit US interests.

Furthermore, the panel recommended the use of AI by intelligence agencies to streamline data gathering and review. It also advised that humans should make decisions on launching nuclear missiles.

The panel is slated to submit its final report to Congress in March. However, the recommendations will not be binding, Reuters reports.

Recently, the US Department of Defense (DoD) approved low rate initial production (LRIP) of the US Army’s new battle command system called the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

Developed jointly by the US Army and Northrop Grumman, the IBCS is capable of identifying and defeating air and missile threats.