GOOGLE MACHINE LEARNING TECH is being used by the US military to create an artificial intelligence (AI) system to makes sense of footage captured by drones.
As part of an AI initiative called Project Maven, the US Department of Defence will make use of Google's TensorFlow tech to help power autonomous object recognition in drone-collected data, reported Gizmodo.
The idea of the project is to take the gruelling work of going through drone footage from hands of human analysts and hand it over to smart systems.
Rather than use AI for offensive capabilities, Project Maven's machine learning capabilities will serve up interesting information for human review; it certainly won't end-up at the controls of a missile battery.
Naturally, the use of AI in the military raises concerns about how it could be used unethically and end up killing the wrong people. But a Google spokesperson attempted to alleviate such concerns with the search giant's involvement in Project Maven.
"We have long worked with government agencies to provide technology solutions. This specific project is a pilot with the Department of Defence, to provide open source TensorFlow APIs that can assist in object recognition on unclassified data," the spokesperson told Gizmodo.
"The technology flags images for human review and is for non-offensive uses only. Military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns. We're actively discussing this important topic internally and with others as we continue to develop policies and safeguards around the development and use of our machine learning technologies."
If AI tech can help stop terrorist attacks and murderous insurgency then it'll definitely have a part to play in the defence world and wars of the future.
However, it'll need to be developed with an overwhelming amount of safeguards, as there's already plenty of anti-AI sentiment going around, so if an AI is complicit in ordering a strike against the wrong target, that sentiment is likely to turn into abject rage against the machines. µ
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