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AI Ethics Principles for DoD

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AI Ethics Principles for DoD


October, 2019 – DIB


AI Ethics Principles for DoD


The following principles represent the means to ensure ethical behavior as the Department develops and deploys AI. To that end, the Department should set the goal that its use of AI systems is:

1. Responsible. Human beings should exercise appropriate levels of judgment and remain responsible for the development, deployment, use, and outcomes of AI systems.

2. Equitable. DoD should take deliberate steps to avoid unintended bias in the development and deployment of combat or non-combat AI systems that would inadvertently cause harm to persons.

3. Traceable. DoD’s AI engineering discipline should be sufficiently advanced such that technical experts possess an appropriate understanding of the technology, development processes, and operational methods of its AI systems, including transparent and auditable methodologies, data sources, and design procedure and documentation.

4. Reliable. AI systems should have an explicit, well-defined domain of use, and the safety, security, and robustness of such systems should be tested and assured across their entire life cycle within that domain of use.

5. Governable. DoD AI systems should be designed and engineered to fulfill their intended function while possessing the ability to detect and avoid unintended harm or disruption, and disengage or deactivate deployed systems that demonstrate unintended escalatory or other behavior.

This White Paper is organized into five chapters. Chapter One outlines the stated needs for a set of AI Ethics Principles and ethics guidance from existing strategic documents and law. It also addresses definitional approaches associated with AI and autonomy to clearly frame how the DIB approaches key issues for DoD and its development and use of AI. Chapter Two provides the necessary grounding for a set of DoD AI Ethics Principles to ensure that they are coherently and consistently derived for DoD. We explain DoD’s existing ethics framework that applies to all of DoD’s technologies, AI included. In Chapter Three, we offer substantive and evidence-driven explanations of each of the five AI Ethics Principles. These principles are normative; they are intended to inform and guide action. However, we are mindful that depending upon context, some principles may override others, and for various AI use cases, these will apply differently. Chapter Four outlines our recommendations to the Department, while Chapter Five provides conclusions. We also provide a set of Appendices to aid readers by providing transparency and clarity about our process in developing these principles and providing high-level content about existing DoD processes.

You can reach the White Paper from the link below:

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