Military experts meet to explore AI use in armed forces missions

AI, Machine learning, Hands of robot and human touching on big data network connection background. [Getty Images]

Over 60 nations have agreed to a joint call to action on the responsible development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the armed forces.

Artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in planning and supporting military operations and becoming a key tool in intelligence and analysis of the enemy's intelligence.

A two-day international summit at the Hague, Netherlands, on the responsible use of AI in the military domain, brought together 2,000 delegates from governments, businesses, civil societies, academia and think tanks.

This was the first global summit to discuss the responsible development, deployment, and use of AI for defense and military purposes.

The Summit was on Responsible AI in the Military Domain (REAIM), which the Netherlands co-hosted with South Korea. Among them were 58 States including the Netherlands, China and technology-leading states such as Japan and Germany.

The United States presented a political declaration to advance engagement in responsible AI.

"With this REAIM summit, we've established the urgent nature of this subject. We now need to take further steps. I'm delighted that we've been able to reach an agreement on this," Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said.

The signatories have agreed to establish a global commission on AI to raise all-around awareness, clarify the definition of its use in the military domain, and determine how it can be developed.

"AI is of crucial importance to the Armed forces of the future. With the right frameworks and legislation in place, using AI will make our operational and logistical processes simpler and more efficient," Dutch minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren said. "In order to ensure we use AI in a responsible manner, we will continue to work closely with our partners within existing alliances such as EU and Nato and also NGOs, knowledge institutions and businesses," she added.

The REAIM summit featured contributions from leading experts on AI in the military domain.

It also included a 'Responsible Innovation Hub', enabling companies to showcase their products and responsible innovations.

Kenya was ranked best in Africa and 52nd Globally in the Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index 2019. The Government AI Readiness Index 2019, Compiled by Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre, scored the governments of 194 countries according to their preparedness to use AI in their operations.

It is certain that with the REAIM Summit, responsible AI in the military domain has gone global and countries will be keen to implement the resolutions.