Does the US military have an obligation to develop weapons systems with AI capabilities? That’s a question that Prof Robert J. Marks tackles in The Case for Killer Robots: Why America’s Military Needs to Continue Development of Lethal AI.
It’s a nice little book that makes for a fascinating read. You can already download a free, digital copy, but all conference attendees will receive a physical copy of the book. Most importantly, Prof Marks will deliver a keynote during Algorithm Conference, so you’ll have an opportunity to interact with him in person if you stick around for his talk and his discussion panel apperance.
Robert J. Marks is the Director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence; a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Baylor; and a Fellow of both IEEE and the Optical Society of America. Marks served as editor-in-chief for the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks.
His research has been supported/funded by the Army Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Army Research Office, NASA, JPL, NIH, NSF, Raytheon, and Boeing. And he has consulted for Microsoft and DARPA.
He is co-author of Neural Smithing: Supervised Learning in Feedforward Artificial Neural Networks, Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics, and the author of The Case for Killer Robots: Why America’s Military Needs to Continue Development of Lethal AI. His keynote will touch on this subject of the military and lethal AI.
No matter how fast computers compute, the Church-Turing thesis dictates certain AI limitations of yesterday and today will apply tomorrow. This includes quantum computing. Alan Turing showed there existed problems unsolvable by computers because the problems were nonalgorithmic.
Sentience, creativity and understanding are human properties that appear to be nonalgorithmic. The sentient property of qualia is possibly the most obvious example of uncomputability.
The inability of computers to understand is nicely explained through the allegory of Searle’s Chinese Room. And for AI to be creative, it must pass the Lovelace test proposed by Selmer Bringsjord. No AI has yet passed the Lovelace test.
With an understanding of the limitations of AI, we can soberly address use of AI in potentially lethal applications like autonomous military weapons.
In a previous assignment, Michael Kanaan was the first Chairperson of Artificial Intelligence, HQ U.S. Air Force, where he authored and guided the research, development, and implementation strategies for AI technology and machine learning activities across its global operations. Prior to that, he was the Enterprise Lead for Artificial Intelligence, HQ U.S. Air Force ISR & Cyber Effects Operations. He’s now the Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force/MIT Artificial Intelligence.
In recognition of his fast-rising career and broad influence, he was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” List and has received numerous other awards and prestigious honors — including the US Government’s Arthur S. Flemming Award.
His highly anticipated book, T-Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power, is due this August.
As an extra, the speakers listed above, plus a couple more yet to be announced, will participate in a discussion panel titled Is lethal AI for the military unavoidable? Regardless of where you stand on this matter, you’ll want to hang around for this discussion panel.
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Due to the raging covid-19 pandemic, Algorithm Conference has been postponed until further notice. With two vaccines already approved and a couple more expected to be approved early 2021, many experts believe that we should begin getting back to normal by Summer, assuming the vaccination programs go as planned.
So tentatively, we should be able to host an in-person conference by Fall 2021. The good news is, people want to get together like during the pre-pandemic days, so we’re sure that when the conference eventually takes place, it will be a resounding success.
All things being equal, we’ll announce a new date by March 2021. Ticket sale is still ongoing, so you may buy your tickets very early now.