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Defense Innovation Board Report on AI Features Ethics Principles Recommendations


Guidance Document Underscores Need for Increased Investment in Standards Development

The Defense Innovation Board (DIB), an independent federal advisory committee, recently released a guidance document for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with ethics principles recommendations for the design, development, and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) for both combat and non-combat purposes. Among several recommendations, the document highlights the need to increase investment in standards development, workforce programs, and AI security applications.

The document, AI Principles: Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence by the Department of Defense, stems from a 2018 request from the DoD to propose a set of ethics principles for consideration.

The board's recommendations note that the DoD should set the goal for its use of AI systems to be:

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

2) Equitable. The 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. The 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. The DoD 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. The 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 for human or automated disengagement or deactivation of deployed systems that demonstrate unintended escalatory or other behavior.

To support these main goals, the board recommends maintaining the best practices and standards for issues related to safety and traceability.

See the report with highlighted recommendations, or view the supporting document highlighting standards.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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