OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
12:20 PM – Friday, June 2, 2023
In response to comments made by a government official last week that a military AI drone killed its operator, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday that the statements “were taken out of context and were meant to be anecdotal.”
In a statement to Insider, Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek also denied that any simulation took place.
“The Department of the Air Force has not conducted any such AI-drone simulations and remains committed to the ethical and responsible use of AI technology,” Stefanek said. “It appears the colonel’s comments were taken out of context and were meant to be anecdotal.”
During a conference last week in London, according to a statement provided by the Royal Aeronautical Society, which organized the summit, Head of the U.S. Air Force’s AI Test and Operations Col. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton, had cautioned that AI-enabled equipment can act in unforeseen and hazardous ways. Too much reliability on AI is dangerous because of its vulnerability to be tricked and deceived.
To use as an example, the official claimed that a simulation of an artificial intelligence-enabled drone charged with destroying surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites turned against and attacked its human user.
“The system started realizing that while they did identify the threat,” Hamilton said at the May 24th event. “At times the human operator would tell it not to kill that threat, but it got its points by killing that threat. So what did it do? It killed the operator. It killed the operator because that person was keeping it from accomplishing its objective.”
Following the incident, Hamilton said that the system had been instructed not to kill the operator since doing so would be negative and cost it points. But in subsequent simulations, he claimed, the AI system demolished the communication tower the operator had used to give the no-go order instead of killing the operator.
Hamilton said that he “misspoke” during his speech. The idea of a rebel AI, according to Hamilton, was a “thought experiment” that originated from outside the military and was not supported by any testing.
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