The Pentagon is seeking bids to improve its Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) so that it can "acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process."
When this public tender sparked concern that the Pentagon's autonomous tanks were gaining automated targeting and firing capabilities -- that is, that they would be autonomous killbots -- the Pentagon updated the tender to reassure critics that "development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms, remain subject to the guidelines in the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 3000.09" and that "All uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence in this program will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with DoD legal and ethical standards."
Why does any of this matter? The Department of Defense Directive 3000.09, requires that humans be able to “exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force,” meaning that the U.S. won’t toss a fully autonomous robot into a battlefield and allow it to decide independently whether to kill someone. This safeguard is sometimes called being “in the loop,” meaning that a human is making the final decision about whether to kill someone.
U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy [Matt Novak/Gizmodo]
Last November, the Pentagon's Inspector General presented Congress with a "little-noticed" report on whistleblowing in the US military, revealing that those who come forward with claims of misconduct including sexual harassment and safety problems face a "culture of retaliation" including black marks on their service records, demotion, and suspension of security clearance; the IG also […]
In 1960, the US Air Force asked the RAND Corporation to evaluate the possibility of using stationary rockets to pause the Earth’s rotation in the event of a nuclear attack. Called “Project Retro,” the idea was that the “a huge rectangular array of one thousand first-stage Atlas engines… (would) be fastened securely to the earth […]
Mark Corbett has settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- founded by Elizabeth Warren and then gutted by Trump appointee and awful person Mick Mulvaney, now the White House Chief of Staff -- over the complaints that he ran an illegal loan-sharking operation that swindled veterans out of their pensions for a decade. He […]
If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]