The Israeli government is working on methods and means to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into its battlefield operations as it attempts to lead the way on the latest and most complex engagement of AI, which is being touted as “the biggest game changer” for technology as a whole.
In an interview with Fox News, former Israeli Prime minister, Naftali Bennett, stated “The future of defence systems and of the military will rely heavily on artificial intelligence.” He claimed the impact could and would inevitably be widespread.
A multitude of applications were implied by Bennett including, analysis of massive swathes of data gathered by Israeli’s formidable intelligence services, drone operations, automated autonomous robots along with many more. So much so that even during his tenure as Prime minister he stated:
Any country who seeks to be strong has to develop an AI strategy now
Tentative use of AI in operations by the Israeli Defence Forces were announced in February when it was claimed these digital methods assisted in producing “200 new target assets” during a preliminary 10-day operation in 2021 which targeted at least 2 Hamas Commanders.
This comes at a time when AI is increasingly being integrated into a plethora of aspects related to Human needs and systems. Nations such as Japan have even begun early stage adoption of AI to run administrative functions of government. India has also in recent weeks clarified that it will not regulate the spread and development of AI stressing intent on encouraging its progress to their own benefit.
AI systems have also been utilised of late to speak with loved ones during funeral services. A technology that could have numerous other benefits and uses, generating an AI version of a deceased loved-one.
There have of course been a great many sceptics of AI adoption, in terms of when, how or even if we should be instigating a societal integration of these systems. Questions over its ethical misuse, regulatory requirements to protect individuals in society, the highly competitive nature of the industry creating AI whether that be intergovernmental or multinational corporate. As well as perhaps most importantly, our ability to wholly control AI are all points that have been scrutinised in length by numerous experts.
Italy have maybe jumped the gun but nonetheless have made an attempt to protect their citizens from the possible dangers by banning certain prominent AI services such as ChatGPT and Midjourney AI.
Bennett also threw his hat into this debate, acknowledging all sides of the argument and emphasising the acute nature of both AI’s uses and abuses. Bennett echoed many expert opinions, such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak by stating:
This is the time where we need to organise ethical, legal and societal structures, to ensure that AI [will be] used for the benefit of people and not the detriment
It is vital that AI is efficiently and effectively regulated to a position where it is safe and stable yet is not hindering its development and progress. Bennett raised a very important balance that needs to be struck. AI progress cannot be halted now, the value it holds in such an exponentially complex world is invaluable especially if our competitors and allies are also using it. Yet at the same time we should not allow it harm in an unintended way.
Getting this balance right, consistently and continuously is paramount to our progression as a planet and may perhaps decide if and who survives or not. Only time will tell if we can make the right choices and if we can make them often enough.