Categories: Tech

Possible First-time Use Of Drones Armed With Artificial Intelligence Opens Debate | Voice Of America

Western military experts are evaluating whether an autonomous drone operated by artificial intelligence (AI) killed people in Libya last year, operating for the first time without a human controller remotely directing it to do so. A report by a United Nations panel of experts released last week that concluded that an advanced drone deployed in Libya “remotely pursued and fought” soldiers fighting for Libyan General Khalifa Haftar has sparked a frenzied debate among security officials and Western analysts. United Nations governments have been debating for months whether a global pact on the use of armed, autonomous and other drones should be agreed, and what restrictions should be placed on them. The UN report on Libya adds urgency to the debate. The drone advances have “many implications at the regional and global level,” says Ziya Meral of Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, a group of defense experts. “It is time to assess where things are with Turkish drones and advanced warfare technology and what this means for the region and what it means for NATO,” he said at an event organized by the Royal United Services Institute in London. According to the UN report, the lethal Turkish-made Kargu-2 autonomous aircraft launched so-called swarm attacks, likely on behalf of the Libyan Government of National Accord, against Haftar militias in March last year, marking the first time that AI-equipped drones will achieve a successful attack. The remains of a Kargu-2 were later recovered. Many human rights organizations oppose the use of autonomous drones that do not require human operators to guide them remotely once they have been programmed. There were rumors that Azerbaijani forces used Turkish-supplied artificial intelligence drones, along with remote-controlled drones, last year in their clashes with Armenia in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and its surrounding territories. Pompeo advocates in the UAE for a “ceasefire in Libya, unity of the Gulf and fight against evil influence from Iran” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a tour of the Middle East with previous stops in Israel, Sudan and Bahrain. It follows the signing of a deal brokered by the United States this month, which made the United Arab Emirates the third Arab state to agree to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Plenty of dilemmas If AI drones were to launch lethal swarm attacks, they would mark a “new chapter in autonomous weapons,” worries the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Critics of AI drones, which can use facial recognition technology, say they pose a number of moral, ethical and legal dilemmas. “These types of weapons operate on software-based algorithms ‘taught’ through large training data sets to, for example, classify various objects. Computer vision programs can be trained to identify school buses, tractors, and tanks. But the data sets they train with may not be complex or robust enough, and an artificial intelligence (AI) may “learn” the wrong lesson, “warns the nonprofit Bulletin. The maker of the Kargu-2 , Defense Technologies and Trade (STM), told Turkish media last year that its drones are equipped with facial recognition technology, making it possible to identify and neutralize individual targets without having to deploy ground forces. And company executives say that Kargu-2 drones can form a swarm of overwhelming defenses. Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the success of Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), saying that the results they had produced “require that war strategies are rewritten. “Turkey has deployed them in military operations in northern Syria, Turkish officials have acknowledged. Speaking at a parliamentary meeting A head of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey plans to go further and aims to be among the first countries to develop an AI-run fighter jet. Recently, the CTO of Baykar, a major Turkish drone manufacturer, announced that the company had scheduled 2023 for the maiden flight of its prototype drone fighter. Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate notifications; or, follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter

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