C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Pentagon Task Force chief curtails expectations for near-term AI capabilities

30 October 2019

The head of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) artificial intelligence (AI) task force is lowering expectations for future AI-enhanced combat capabilities for US armed forces, saying his focus will be on “low-consequence use cases” for the emerging technology in the near term.

“I can’t show the rewards [of AI] right now on mission-critical systems”, such as AI-enhanced automation of command-and-control (C2) systems for nuclear weapons or other strategic-level combat assets, said US Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. “Nobody has proven that those rewards justify the risks we’re going to take right now,” he added during a 24 October panel discussion at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

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