Defence publishes AI ethics technical paper

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 25 February, 2021

Defence publishes AI ethics technical paper

The Defence Science and Technology Group has released a new technical paper outlining an ethical methodology for the incorporation of AI into Defence technologies.

The white paper was developed based on the findings of a workshop on the ethics of AI for Defence conducted in 2019.

It outlines a practical methodology that could support AI project managers and teams to manage ethical risks. The methodology contains three tools — an ethical AI for defence checklist, an ethical AI risk matrix, and a legal and ethical assurance program plan.

The technical paper also seeks to cover the core topics covered at the workshop, which were categorised into five facets for ethical AI.

These are issues of responsibility; governance; trust; law; and traceability, with the latter covering how the actions of AI are recorded.

Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro said AI technologies have the potential to offer benefits such as saving lives by removing humans from high-threat environments and improving Australian advantage by providing more in-depth and faster situational awareness. But the ethical implications of the implementation of AI cannot be ignored.

“Upfront engagement on AI technologies and consideration of ethical aspects needs to occur in parallel with technology development,” she said.

“Defence research incorporating AI and human-autonomy teaming continues to drive innovation, such as work on the Allied IMPACT (AIM) Command and Control (C2) System demonstrated at Autonomous Warrior 2018 and the establishment of the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC.”

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