From the Editor

The gradual merger of man and machine is not only inevitable, but “imperative” in the Pentagon’s drive to outdo US adversaries, the Space Force’s top scientist, Dr Joel Mozer, has said, hailing a new era of “human augmentation” in military tech. Whatever the hopes for the future of cybernetic augmentation, human/robot dog integration continues to present problems as the NYPD has recently found out. Meanwhile, the European Union has also been grappling with this brave new world: The bloc’s Proposal for a Regulation laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence(Artificial Intelligence Act) has provided a glimpse of European plans to tackle the governance of algorithms. While the draft legislation has been hailed by some as ambitious, others criticise it as disappointingly vague in key areas and say it doesn’t go far enough.

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See below to learn why the NYPD's latest recruit is in the doghouse
"Commanders and decision makers will have at their disposal multiple autonomous agents, each able to control the execution of things like reconnaissance, or fire control, or attack … we must think carefully about the ethics of this, and how we will trust these autonomous agents, especially in an era of lethal autonomous warfare.."
Joel Mozer
Chief Scientist for the US Space Force

Infographic of the Week

Top 5 News Stories of the Week

Reality bytes for NYPD’s newest recruit

When the Police Department acquired a robotic dog last year, officials heralded the four-legged device as a futuristic tool that could go places that were too dangerous to send officers. Instead, the machine, which the police named Digidog, became a source of heated debate. After it was seen being deployed as part of the response to a home invasion in the Bronx in February, critics likened it to a dystopian surveillance drone. According to the New York Times, the trial has now been terminated.
Read the full story here

Space Force scientist warns it’s ‘imperative’ the US military experiment with human augmentation and AI to stay ahead of Russia and China

The gradual merger of man and machine is not only inevitable, but “imperative” in the Pentagon’s drive to outdo US adversaries, the Space Force’s top scientist, Dr Joel Mozer, has said, hailing a new era of “human augmentation” in military tech.
Read the full story here

The EU’s New Proposed Rules on A.I. Are Missing Something

The European Commission released its proposed rules for artificial intelligence last week. While the rules are not yet final, the 108-page document “laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence” is certainly the closest any regulatory body has come to trying to develop more detailed and nuanced rules for A.I. than just banning certain uses or promise to implement these systems in generally ethical ways.
Read the full story here

DARPA Looking to Infuse Aerial Systems with AI

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to help the military incorporate more artificial intelligence capabilities into air combat systems in the coming years, officials recently said. Last year, an AI algorithm turned heads when it defeated a veteran F-16 fighter pilot in a series of simulated combat engagements during the final round of DARPA’s Alpha Dogfight Trials. The algorithm, developed by Heron Systems, went undefeated with a record of 5-0 against the airman.
Read the full story here

Major General Barbara Fast, U.S. Army, Ret. Joins Clarifai as a Senior Advisor

Today, Clarifai announced that Major General Barbara Fast, U.S. Army, Ret. has joined the company as senior advisor and member of its Public Sector Advisory Council. Clarifai is a leading Computer Vision and NLP AI provider that helps government defense and civilian agencies transform unstructured image, video, text and audio data into structured data. Read the full story here

REVIEW

Drone Theory:  by Gregoire Chamayou

In A Theory of the Drone, French philosopher Grégoire Chamayou seeks to comprehend how drones have revolutionised contemporary warfare and to deconstruct the various narratives at the heart of what has become a conceptual and legal dilemma. Chamayou’s book is a passionate indictment of drone warfare. He sees it at the strategic level as inevitably recapitulating the asymmetrical scenarios of colonial wars, which used technological superiority to massacre thousands of “natives” in the name of civilization. If there is a problem with this book, it is Chamayou’s tendency to iconize the drone in a way that positions it as both a final and formal cause of the massive historical tragedy of the War on Terror. It would perhaps be more accurate to see the drone as an efficient and material cause, a tactical weapon that has become the fetish object of a self-destructive illusion. What the book does not put into question is its own historical contingency. The technical superiority of US drone warfare may be a transitory phenomenon. 

★★★★@Matt

UPCOMING EVENTS

MAY
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Thu 13 May – Fri 14 May
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 JUNE
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Tue 15 Jun – Wed 16 Jun
London

JULY
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Sat 24 Jul – Sun 25 Jul
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