The Department of Defense (DoD) officially adopted the Defense Innovation Board’s (DIB) ethical artificial intelligence (AI) principles Feb. 24.

“The adoption of AI ethical principles will enhance the department’s commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards as outlined in the DoD AI Strategy, while embracing the U.S. military’s strong history of applying rigorous testing and fielding standards for technology innovations,” Secretary Mark Esper said.

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The new principles will apply to both combat and non-combat functions of DoD. The guidance includes five key AI standards:

  • Responsible: DoD will use appropriate levels of judgment and care when using AI.
  • Equitable: DoD will minimize unintended bias in AI.
  • Traceable: DoD personnel will be properly trained in AI capabilities and transparent about methodologies.
  • Reliable: DoD’s AI capabilities will be subject to testing to assure its safety, security, and effectiveness.
  • Governable: DoD will design AI to fulfill its intended functions while possessing the ability to detect and avoid unintended consequences.

DoD’s Joint AI Center will be responsible for deploying the ethical AI principles across the agencywide projects.

“Ethics remain at the forefront of everything the department does with AI technology, and our teams will use these principles to guide the testing, fielding and scaling of AI-enabled capabilities across the DoD,” CIO Dana Deasy said.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.