DOD and the AI ”Terminator Conundrum”

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January 27, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: January 27 on

Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “There are ethical implications. There are implications that I call the ‘Terminator conundrum’.”

With the Obama administration giving the green light for driverless cars on our roads within the next decade, and the military services developing autonomous air, ground and sea vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before the technology exists to develop artificial intelligence that can be used on the battlefield.

But that leaves the prickly question of whether a fully autonomous system can carry out an attack. And although Defense Department rules currently make clear that, regardless of the system, only a human operator can order a strike, it is something military leaders are concerned about.