US plans to propose international norms for military AI at UN

The United States is taking the lead in shaping international norms for military AI at the United Nations. Bonnie Jenkins, a senior State Department official, highlights the urgent need for regulations in this rapidly evolving field. The proposed resolution emphasizes responsible AI use in line with humanitarian laws.

 Person, Security

The United States intends to present a proposal at the UN in the near future, outlining global standards for the use of military AI. The goal is to assume a leading role in shaping international regulations in this field. Bonnie Jenkins, a senior official from the State Department, stressed the importance of establishing such norms, especially in the absence of existing guidelines. Given the active development of AI-based military systems by countries like the US and China, this initiative aims to provide guidance on the responsible utilisation of emerging technologies within the military sphere.

Although the US has faced criticism for its stance against a binding treaty on AI weapons, it seeks to gather support for its proposal within the UN. Jenkins has expressed a readiness to engage in discussions with China regarding military AI standards, highlighting the renewed diplomatic efforts between the two nations. This initiative represents a notable stride toward international collaboration in regulating military AI technologies.

Why does this matter?

The proposed US resolution is rooted in the State Department’s document titled ‘Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy.‘ It promotes the application of military AI in compliance with international humanitarian laws and encourages nations to formulate their own principles governing AI-equipped systems. Additionally, it underscores the significance of human involvement in critical decision-making processes pertaining to nuclear weaponry. The development and use of military AI have profound implications for international security. Establishing norms and regulations ensures that these technologies are employed responsibly, reducing the risk of unintended conflicts or escalations.