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The myth of ethical AI in war

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wants the Defense Department to do artificial intelligence (AI) “the right way,” even if our main competitor, China, does not. 

Speaking to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Austin said: “… our use of AI must reinforce our democratic values, protect our rights, ensure our safety and defend our privacy.”

This is close to the formula assigned to the fictional “Officer Murphy” in the 1987 movie Robocop. Murphy, a murdered police officer, was turned into Robocop, a cyborg with his human memory (mostly) erased. 

He was given four directives, the first three being to serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law. He was also given a classified order, Directive 4, which blocked Robocop from causing harm to employees of Omni Consumer Products (OCP), the company that built him.