© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A response from ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, is seen on its website in this illustration photo taken February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo
By Toby Sterling
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – More than 60 countries, including the United States and China, signed a modest “call to action” on Thursday endorsing the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military.
Human rights experts and academics noted that the declaration was not legally binding and did not address concerns such as AI-guided drones, “slaughterbots” that could kill without human intervention or the risk that an AI could escalate a military conflict.
However, the declaration was a tangible result of the first international summit on military AI, co-hosted by the Netherlands and South Korea this week in The Hague.
The signatories said they pledged to develop and use military AI in accordance with “international legal obligations and in a manner that does not undermine international security, stability and accountability.”
The conference comes as interest in AI is at an all-time high thanks to the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT program and Ukraine has used facial recognition and AI-assisted targeting systems in its fight against Russia.
Organizers did not invite Russia after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”. Ukraine did not participate.
Israel participated in the conference but did not sign the declaration.
US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Bonnie Jenkins has proposed a US framework for responsible military use of AI.
The United States and other powerful nations have been reluctant to agree to legal limitations on the use of AI, fearing it would put them at a disadvantage against their rivals.
“We would like to emphasize that we are open to engagement with any country interested in joining us,” Jenkins said.
The U.S. proposal says AI weapons systems should involve “appropriate levels of human judgment,” in accordance with updated lethal autonomous weapons guidance released by the Department of Defense last month.
Human Rights Watch challenged the United States to define “appropriate,” and not “tinker with political statements,” but to begin negotiating internationally binding law.
China’s representative, Jian Tan, told the summit that countries should “oppose the pursuit of absolute military advantage and hegemony through AI” and work through AI. United Nations.
Jessica Dorsey, assistant professor of international law at Utrecht University, said the US proposal was a “missed opportunity” for leadership and the summit declaration was too weak.
“This paves the way for states to develop AI for military purposes in any way they see fit, as long as they can say it’s ‘responsible,'” she said. “Where is the enforcement mechanism? »