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Israel Quietly Integrates "AI" Into Deadly Military Operations
Pushing the Boundaries of Modern Warfare
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has started deploying AI systems like Fire Factory and an "AI recommendation system" to automate target selection, plan operations and analyze massive volumes of drone footage, satellite imagery and other data to support missions across the region.
The AI recommendation system selects targets for strikes by analyzing vast amounts of data, while Fire Factory assigns thousands of targets to drones and aircraft, calculates munitions and proposes strike schedules. Though human commanders approve final plans and targets, critics warn of potential mistakes from relying on "non-explainable" AI with limited transparency.
"If the AI makes a mistake and is not explainable, who do we blame for wiping out a family?" said Tal Mimran of Hebrew University.
While the IDF says it can trace how its algorithms reach conclusions, experts worry human oversight will decline over time without full explainability. Israel develops AI weapons systems in secrecy like other nations, without international rules on accountability for AI mistakes.
Experts say value judgments still require humans, and the IDF should limit AI to defensive use. Concerns also include limited testing, potential discrimination risks, and lack of transparency around defense contracts.
While AI may increase precision and efficiency, critics say proper guidelines are needed to ensure responsible and ethical use. Human oversight of lethal autonomous weapons remains crucial.
As AI plays an ever larger role in warfare, balancing technological gains with ethical and legal norms is critical. The onus remains on commanders to ensure military AI is used responsibly.