France, Israel, South Korea, Japan and more join Pentagon AI partnership


Allies and partners from Europe, Asia and the Middle East are joining the Pentagon’s recently announced partnership around AI practices, defense officials said on Wednesday.The first meeting “AI Partnership for Defense”, held from September 15 to 16, brought together delegations from 13 partner countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden and United Kingdom and United States.

Over the two days, the delegates “shared lessons learned and best practices in exploiting AI for their respective and shared defense missions,” according to a statement from the host organization, Joint Artificial Intelligence Pentagon Center, or JAIC.

But the main goal is to bring together like-minded countries to “shape what responsible AI looks like,” said Mark Beall, chief strategy officer at JAIC..

In addition to being like-minded democracies, the countries on the list represent those that were “most advanced and most interested in working with the JAIC” on key issues, Beall said.

Some of the countries on the list are more obvious players in AI than others. Japan has long been a key innovation force in AI and robotics, with research efforts dating back to the 1960s, with a Kyoto University research group led by Toshiyuki Sakai. (The group unveiled a pivotal facial recognition system at the Osaka Expo in 1970.)

Others have appeared more recently. Estonia, which hosts a NATO Cyber ​​Center of Excellence, is on its way to becoming a major center for ground robotics. She is working on the development and manufacture of ground robots with Finland, which in 2017 released an AI strategy to help frame its development in the field.

Some obvious allies, like Germany, are missing from the list. But Beall said he expects more countries to join in subsequent dialogues, especially those that have an interest in exercising and working with the U.S. military. The partnership also focuses on interoperability, “in particular around data sharing, ontologies and development that help secure systems. And it’s about who has great talent and great technology and how to figure out how to share it. ”

Conversations around best practices and ethics “will lay the groundwork for interoperability in a number of ways,” said Stephanie Culberson, JAIC’s chief international affairs officer. “We want to make sure that our allies, partners, people who – if we are forced to go to war, we will go to war – take security and responsible AI very seriously.”

In February, the Pentagon adopted a list of AI principles to guide the construction, testing, and deployment of AI. While the partnership dialogues will focus on these principles, Beall says it’s not necessarily about getting other countries to follow the United States. “I would definitely recommend that our allies adopt their own set of ethical principles. Many of them are on this trip right now. ”

Mr Culberson said, “The point of this is not to convince them to adopt ours, but rather the process by which we arrived at ours.”


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