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Defining a Role for AI Ethics in National Security

By Nature

May 13, 2021

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Mariarosaria Taddeo is an associate professor and senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and Dstl Ethics fellow at the Alan Turing Institute.

Two recent papers address the artificial intelligence (AI) at the heart of many technologies developed and deployed in national defense and security.

"Many things can go wrong with AI if ethical considerations are not part of its design, development, and use.," Taddeo says of 'Pioneering a New National Strategy,' a paper released by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). "It is reassuring that this is clear to an institution like GCHQ. But now the next question is, how is this strong focus on ethics translated into practice?"

Meanwhile, a report from the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) "...has an international purpose," Taddeo says. "It is a clear message to its allies and competitors that the U.S. intends to take a leading role in the AI arms race."

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