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22 Feb 18. Singapore’s MINDEF strengthens its cyber defences. Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has bolstered its cyber defences following the conclusion of a three week-long programme that saw 264 computer security specialists from around the world try to penetrate the ministry’s IT networks and systems. Speaking about the results of the ‘Bug Bounty Programme’, the ministry said in a statement on 21 February that 97 vulnerability reports were submitted from 34 participants, with 35 reports deemed valid. Taking part in the programme were so-called ‘white hat hackers’: specialists who break into protected IT systems and networks to test and assess their security as well as expose their vulnerabilities before malicious hackers can exploit them. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Feb 18. A way to make military drones even more useful. The Department of Defense wants to improve its modeling and simulation programs as a way to bolster how it trains cyber warriors and to make better use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data from drones. To do that, the Pentagon is looking to a new public-private partnership to speed up delivery of these technologies in a range of areas. The Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX) brings together the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Orlando, the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), and the National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL).
Together, they’re specifically looking at technologies that will make training more effective and more realistic. Much of that work happens among startups and small firms outside the small government procurement community. TRex was launched in fall 2017 and is now actively reaching out to industry, in an effort to broaden the Department’s reach.
“This is a way to get in front of people who might never think of doing business with the government. It lowers the barrier of entry when you don’t have to sign a 30-page agreement or sign over every legal thing just to submit a white paper. We want folks to just come in and show us what they’ve got,” said Brian Serra, a contracting officer with Army Contracting Command (ACC) Orlando.
While it isn’t clear yet what new training capabilities may emerge through the program, planners have their sights set on a couple of key areas.
“We know there are a lot of critical technologies out there that we are going to need for the next generation of modeling and simulations programs,” said Tom Kehr, a systems engineer in Integrated Training Environment program at PEO STRI.
He pointed to three likely areas of interest:
- Cyber training. TReX will look to prototype and evaluate cyber training capabilities as part of the overall development of the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE), a next-generation military training asset.
- Rapid terrain generation. Planners are looking to advance the state of the art to automatically generate extremely high-fidelity synthetic terrain for simulations, using commercial UAV platforms, ground-based sensors, and geospatial data.
- Medical simulation technologies. The program will encourage prototyping of medical simulators and software to evaluate and improve the military medical training curriculum.
TReX uses a contracting vehicle known as an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to enable rapid contracting and prototyping. Because an OTA allows vendors to bring their ideas forward without a prolonged, formal RFP process, it could be especially helpful in cybersecurity training, where the requirements evolve quickly.
“In cyber, you can’t wait to field something. You can’t do a training exercise that takes eight months of planning. It all just becomes obsolete,” Kehr said.
The ISR community also could benefit from rapid advances in terrain modeling technologies, which may allow for faster, more accurate simulations. One promising area, known as photogrammetry, uses photos taken by commercial UAVs to build 3-D representations based on building heights, shadows and other attributes.
The net result is a highly realistic model, one that offers enhanced training opportunities and can be assembled relatively quickly. “We can give them tools to build a virtual environment to train on in a day or two, as opposed to have to wait a few months to get that database,” Kehr said.
Startups and others on the commercial side have a range of technologies in the works that might bolster the military’s training regimen. What they lack is a means to bring these tools to the attention of Pentagon planners.
“There is an unknown set of technologies that DoD doesn’t typically get access to,” said Tim Greeff, CEO of the nonprofit NSTXL, which seeks to bring together emerging tech firms and government users. “Right now, they don’t get a representative sample of what is possible and what is available.”
The greatest value of the OTA may lie in its ability to give military officials access to technologies they didn’t even know they were looking for, by opening a window into cutting-edge efforts that typically fly below the procurement radar.
“You may have some smaller nontraditional companies that are working on things that don’t inherently align what we’re trying to get after, something that may be way out in left field but is nonetheless a strong fit,” Kehr said. “Now we can actually go out and sign an agreement, even if it’s not something we have previously been looking at”
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
21 Feb 18. US Army requests $429m for new cyber training platform. In 2016, the Pentagon tapped the Army to lead development of a persistent cyber training environment, or PCTE, to help train experts from Cyber Command in a live-virtual-constructed environment.
Since then, cyber officials have repeatedly said such an environment is among their top priorities.
“The service cyber components have established their own training environments but do not have standardized capabilities or content,” Army budget documents say.
In the Army’s research and development budget documents, the service requested $65.8m in fiscal 2019 for the training environment and $429.4m through fiscal 2023.
Under the various line items in the Army’s research and development budget, the Army is looking to develop event scheduling for the environment. It also wants to develop realistic vignettes or scenarios as part of individual and collective training to include real-world mission rehearsal, on-demand reliable and secure physical and virtual global access from dispersed geographic locations.
In addition, the Army is asking for $3m in fiscal 2019 base budget money to find and close gaps in hardware and software infrastructure related to virtual environments needed for cyber operational training. Additional funds will go toward virtual environments such as blue, grey, red or installation control system that the cyber mission force use for maneuver terrain.
Moreover, the documents indicate that the Army will use Other Transaction Authorities vehicles for contract awards. The program will be delivered through incremental capability drops. The document states a “full and open competitive contract will be awarded in FY20 for further integration of new or refinement of existing capabilities, hardware refreshes, accreditation, and software licensing.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
21 Feb 18. A new global cybersecurity study commissioned by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), in partnership with Ponemon Institute, reveals a majority of senior-level IT professionals fully expect their organization will experience a catastrophic data breach that could greatly impact shareholder value. The 2018 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity survey of 1,100 senior-level IT and IT security global practitioners also shows that despite growing threats, IT professionals believe cybersecurity is still not considered a strategic priority among senior leadership.
“Our hope is that CISOs and senior leaders can use this report as a tool to start a deep dialogue about the critical need for cybersecurity within their organizations,” said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy. “Every day the cyber threat is growing more sophisticated and aggressive, posing a real threat to global businesses across all sectors. To reduce risks, leaders must urgently work with their IT teams to identify potential vulnerabilities, develop an action plan and make the investments needed to protect the value of their organization.”
The study looks at how cyber trends have evolved since Raytheon first sponsored the research in 2015. It also asks security professionals in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and North Africa to identify future trends over the next three years. Key findings include:
- 82% of respondents predict their workplace will suffer a catastrophic data breach in the next three years as a result of unsecured IoT devices. 66% say such an attack would seriously diminish shareholder value.
- 67% believe cyber extortion, such as ransomware and data breaches will increase in frequency and payout.
- 60% predict nation-state attacks against government and commercial organizations will worsen and could potentially lead to a cyber war.
- 46% believe their cybersecurity strategy will improve, down from 59% in 2015.
- 60% expect their companies will have to spend more to achieve regulatory compliance and respond to lawsuits and litigation.
Despite growing concerns about sophisticated and persistent cyber threats, only 36% of respondents believe senior leadership consider cybersecurity a strategic priority. Senior leadership are also seen as seemingly disengaged in the oversight of their organization’s cybersecurity strategy with 68% of CISO/IT Executives surveyed saying their Boards are not being briefed on measures taken to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a cyberattack.
“Conversations around cybersecurity resiliency are happening among our nation’s top intelligence chiefs, yet business leaders still have not made cybersecurity a business priority,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute. “This important research reveals an urgent need for executives to appropriately address cyber threats against their organizations.”
For more detail and analysis of the full survey findings, please visit www.Raytheon.com/cybertrends2018
20 Feb 18. What the budget request explains about Cyber Command’s goals. The Department of Defense’s budget process makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine specifically how combatant commands request to spend their money.
Cyber Command requested approximately $647 m for fiscal 2018, due mostly to additional funding need for Cyber Command’s elevation to a unified combatant command.
But a comparable figure for fiscal 2019 is not yet available.
Still, clues remain. For example, careful readers can decipher that Cyber Command will continue its offensive cyber effort against the Islamic State, as well as develop an offensive tool that appears as several different attacks, but is actually the same tool.
In the case of Cyber Command, the Air Force purchases certain programs for the organization as the executive agent for the command. And because the Air Force’s budget documents are publicly available, certain programs become evident.
Within the Air Force’s recently released research and development budget documents, are two program elements dedicated to procurement for Cyber Command: one titled Cyber Operations Technology Development – totaling $253.8m for the entire program element – and Enabled Cyber Activities – totaling $16.3m for the entire program element.
Then, nested within the first program are four projects that cover cyber capabilities, platforms and tools.
“USCYBERCOM in conjunction with the Services and Defense Agencies will develop and expand infrastructure architectures and cyber tools and capabilities to support Cyber Mission Forces (CMF) to ‘fight tonight’ with lethality, resiliency, and innovative deterrence against key threats in the strategic environment,” the budget documents read. “Focus is on four broad program areas: Joint Common Services, Joint Access Platforms, Joint Tools, and Joint Analytics.”
Here’s an explanation of Cyber Command’s wishlist for fiscal 2019:
Joint Common Services
Request: $52.4m for FY19
This part of the program seeks to support capabilities that will be used by the cyber misston force to conduct cyber operations.
– continued development of the military cyber operations platform (MCOP), which will eventually serve as the overarching architecture joint cyber forces will conduct their Title 10 military cyber operations
– deployment of CENTROPY, a cyber C2 system that provides oversight and management of operational readiness, in three domains
– continued development of and expansion of the Cyber Analysis Portal (UCAP), a tool that provides a comprehensive solution for malware triage
– continued development of the Big Data Platform, which enables CMF teams to identify anomalous behavior of the DoD Information Network
– transition of Joint Cyber Command and Control, a capability that provides combatant commanders, with enhanced situational awareness and battle management for cyberspace operations missions and forces, to the Air Force. Under a separate program element in the Air Force’s budget, the service asked for a total of $13m in FY19 for Joint Cyber Command and Control.
Joint Access Platforms
Request: $83.7m for FY19
This item supports capabilities used in cyber mission force operations to access targets and retrieve data.
Plans include continued development and deployment of on-net operations infrastructure and continued development of operational systems that deliver distributed denial of service capabilities on the DoDIN.
Request: $107.4m for FY19
This item supports CMF capabilities to exploit targets during operations.
FY19 plans include:
– the implementation of a signature diversity capability that will enable the manipulation of tools code so a single tool can look like multiple tools providing a means to minimize risk of discovery
– development of tools to provide operational agility for the cyber mission force.
– development of specialized tools for the cyber mission force that are targeted to specific adversary targets to enable specific cyber operations
– continued support for Joint Task Force Ares, the offensive effort against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria
Request: $10.2m for FY19
This item provides funding for analytics support for capabilities used in cyber mission force operations to correlate data collected from multiple sources to garner insight and enable decision making.
Plans include continued development and sustainment of advanced data analytics for cyber operations.
Separately, under a different program element – Enabled Cyber Activities – the budget documents list another project titled Cyber Technology Development, asking for $16.3m in FY19.
This item will seek to demonstrate, develop and evaluate prototype electronic warfare and cyber capabilities.
FY19 plans include continued adaptation of electronic warfare technology and cyber-peculiar capabilities to gain access to targeted enemy forces.
For both program elements, the documents state that both Fixed Price and Cost Plus contracting vehicles will be used and managed by Cyber Command acquisition authority, various service component contracting offices, combatant command contracting offices and NSA contracting offices.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Feb 18. Why it’s harder for soldiers to tell if their radios are being jammed. The radio spectra are increasingly crowded and confused, and smart devices are making it worse. Already jammed full of telecom signals, the airwaves have become increasingly congested with the popularity of the Internet of Things.
Naturally, this has battlefield implications.
“Is this signal enemy or friendly or some unaffiliated third party? Is my radio being interfered with by a malicious actor, or is there some uninformed third party who didn’t know the spectrum plan?” said Paul Tilghman, a program manager in DARPA’s microsystems technology office.
“We need to understand what is going on in the spectrum and what function that spectrum is being used for in this context.”
That office has an initiative underway to apply to the techniques of artificial intelligence and machine learning to bear on the issue. The agency held a preliminary spectrum collaboration challenge event in December and competing teams are slated to begin testing in March for an event later this year. The event has the potential for $3.5m in prizes.
The spectrum challenge
In the past, hardware-based radios have featured fixed functionality and operated on allotted spectra. That meant military leaders could tell at a glance what was happening over the airwaves. “Simply by looking up the frequency, that would give you all the information you needed,” Tilghman said.
A new generation of software-defined radios has muddled the picture. “We went from a world with real clear boundaries defined by hardware to a place where people can buy a software-defined radio and cook up a whole new waveform that no one has ever seen before. That makes it challenging to understand what’s happening the spectrum,” Tilghman said.
At the same time, the rise of autonomous devices and IoT connectivity has made the radio spectra increasingly crowded, adding a further level of obfuscation for those trying to interpret electromagnetic activity.
All this has an impact on ISR operations, which may depend on the ability to clearly interpret radio activity.
“The growing demand for bandwidth has sparked increased discussions in the microwave remote sensing community of how to respond to this crowded spectrum environment and how to deal with the consequent issues of radio frequency interference,” researchers Michael Spencer and Fawwaz Ulaby write in the IEEE journal Geoscience and Remote Sensing.
Thus far the radio community has applied manual fixes to deal with the problem. “We have operators with specific systems trying to look at and interpret the spectrum,” Tilghman said. “Because we have a small number of highly specialized systems and a small number of operators, we’re looking at the world through a soda straw.”
Now DARPA is looking at artificial intelligence as a possible remedy.
The AI fix
As with so many emerging AI applications, the object here is to get the machine to perform – quickly, repeatedly and accurately – a task that would be too time-consuming for a human to effectively manage.
In a general sense, DARPA would like to see solutions in which AI-driven software could comb through the thicket of signal, winnowing out those blips that don’t matter and highlighting any activity that merit a deeper look.
“We can think of machine learning as a force multiplier,” Tilghman said. “If I can go through and pick out lots of signals that are not important, I can take those off the operator’s plate so they can focus on the signals that are most important.”
The machines will have to be smart enough to recognize familiar or predictable sources of radio signal, and also savvy enough to notice signal that is unusual or unexpected. That ability to spot anomalous behavior will be key to the ISR mission, as intel analysts seek to tease out the subtle threads of enemy activity from within the dense weave of legitimate signal.
Interestingly, NASA is pursuing a similar line with its investigation into “cognitive radios,” a project aimed at leveraging AI to maintain radio contact with distant spacecraft. “Modern space communications systems use complex software to support science and exploration missions,” said principal investigator Janette C. Briones in a NASA press release. “By applying artificial intelligence and machine learning, satellites control these systems seamlessly, making real-time decisions without awaiting instruction.”
While DARPA began looking for AI fix to the spectrum problem, the state of the art in industry is still “quite nascent,” but momentum is building, Tilghman said. “We have gone from engaging with the community to getting real thoughts about how this problem set is unique.”
The telecom industry and others who rely on spectrum availability are at least as eager as their military counterparts to find better spectrum management tools. In this case the military may be able to leverage the commercial world’s own interest.
“We all have a need to understand what is happening in our spectrum. I might have tactical reasons for wanting to understand how an enemy is impinging on my spectra, whereas a commercial carrier might want to know whether someone is impinging on their spectra, just because they have paid a lot of money for that spectra,” he said. “There is a real commercial interest to this as well.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Feb 18. The USAF requested $30m to develop a ‘cyber carrier.’
Much like traditional military capabilities have platforms from which to launch attacks, Cyber Command and the services’ cyber components need a comparable platform.
This effort underway is called the unified platform, which some have equated to a “cyber carrier,” and the Department of Defense’s budget request for fiscal 2019 describes a plan to develop such a program.
The Air Force, designated as the executive agent, will procure the unified platform for Cyber Command and by extension the joint force. In its research and development budget, the Air Force asks for $29.8 m for the Unified Platform program for fiscal 2019. It asks for $10 m fiscal 2020 and $6 m in fiscal 2021.
The unified platform provides “a Joint cyber operations platform capable of mission planning, data analytics, and decision support for the execution of full-spectrum cyberspace operations at the operational through tactical levels of warfare,” the budget reads. “UP integrates existing, but disparate, Service-specific cyber capability, delivering a minimum viable product (MVP). Subsequent build iterations will continue to deliver a flexible, interoperable and scalable war-fighter capability.”
Within the program element, the Air Force lists two projects; AF Prototyping and USCYBERCOM Prototyping, both of which seek to develop rapid research through prototype development, risk reduction, testing and integration of cyber capabilities contributing to the UP program.
The Air Force’s budget request $19.8m in FY19 for the AF Prototyping project and $10m for the USCYBERCOM Prototyping project. In outlining an acquisition strategy, the documents state the program will utilize both new and existing contractual vehicles, such as Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles (Alliant, Encore II, Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement IV (SEWP IV), and General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedules and a new Cyber Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Feb 18. Here’s where the Pentagon wants to invest in artificial intelligence in 2019. From Amazon’s Alexa to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly improving and promises to soon transform almost every aspect of life. As data, the lifeblood of AI, increasingly becomes both a tool and a vulnerability on today’s battlefield, the Department of Defense is taking notice. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that operationalized AI will be a key capability in the future of warfare.
Many in the defense community, however, worry that the DoD is losing to great power rivals like Russina and China in the race to embrace artificial intelligence. A recent report on the Defense Department’s progress on the AI front, from government data analysis group Govini and former DoD chief Robert Work, said it’s time for the U.S. military to decide whether it wants to “lead the coming revolution or fall victim to it.”
The Defense Department’s fiscal 2019 budget request offers a window into where leaders see opportunities for artificial intelligence. Here’s what it shows:
The Air Force, Navy and Army all see possibilities for artificial intelligence in training.
The Air Force wants to spend $87m in 2019 on their experimentation program, which would put operationalized artificial intelligence, among several other technologies, to the test in war games, simulations, and field experimentation.
The Navy is seeking $13.5m to capitalize on what they describe as “rapid advances in artificial intelligence and terrain and environment collection.” The service wants to use AI techniques to develop games teach complex warfighting and decision-making skills and “increase training tools for operation in Electronic Warfare (EW) and Cyber contested environments.”
Meanwhile, the Army wants to allocate $6.5m in 2019 to the Institute of Creative Technologies, their academic research laboratory at the University of Southern California. The ICT seeks “to support Army training and readiness through research into simulation, mixed and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, and learning sciences.” Researchers at the institute are even working on a Human-Virtual Human Interaction project powered by artificial intelligence. The service also wants another $6m for medical training technologies that would use “artificial intelligence algorithms to aid in target recognition, next generation magnetometers, high resolution simulated three-dimension terrain and weapon orientation to enhance live training technology research.”
The Navy, in particular, sees AI as a promising tool in the art of combat. The service is requesting $49 m in 2019 for their innovative Rapid Prototype Development program, which “funds a strategic focus on rapid prototyping of innovative combat system technologies and engineering innovations.” One of the primary technologies listed in the program is artificial intelligence, along with directed energy weapons, hypersonics, and machine learning. The Navy also wants to use artificial intelligence computing techniques to improve their submarine combat systems, according to the request.
The Marine Corps has its own version of the Rapid Prototype Development program. Service leaders are requesting $7.1m for their program, which recently developed an unmanned swarm system that “provides attack capabilities fused with artificial intelligence to enhance situational awareness and decision making.”
The department is requesting funding for several programs dedicated to utilizing artificial intelligence to improve automated robotics. A $4.6m program would continue to improve robots’ perception of their environments and their “intelligent control” abilities, which the Army describes as “permitting future systems to autonomously adapt, and alter their behavior to dynamic tactical situations.” Another program, pricing in at $4.2m, would focus on better automating systems for robots. Finally, a $9.5m program would be dedicated to “expand the autonomous capabilities, utility, and portability of small robotic systems for military applications, with a focus on enhanced intelligence, biomimetic functionality, and robust mobility, to permit these systems to serve as productive tools for dismounted Soldiers.”
If the idea of killer robots powered by artificial intelligence is as concerning to you as it is to the more than 100 technology CEOs who recently signed an open letter calling on the United Nations to ban such technology, the Army offers a caveat. In their budget, the Army notes that “methods for artificial intelligence assessment will be employed to ensure future unmanned systems can offer transparency in their cognitive processes.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 Feb 18. How the Army plans to use virtual humans powered by artificial intelligence. Deep within the Army’s 2019 budget request, lies a program that, at first glance, reads like the plot of an episode from the futuristic series “Black Mirror.”
The program, formally known as Human-Virtual Human Interaction, is described in the Army’s research and development budget as an effort to create “virtual human computer-generated characters that look, communicate and behave like real people.” The document goes on to describe what exactly such behavior entails. “The virtual humans will be autonomous, use verbal and non-verbal communication, exhibit emotions, model their own beliefs, desires and intentions as well as those of others, and reason using advanced artificial intelligence.”
Yup. The Army is seeking to create virtual humans that model their own beliefs and desires, powered by advanced artificial intelligence.
The Human-Virtual Human Interaction program is run out of the Army’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California. The goal of the program is to create virtual humans, powered by artificial intelligence, that mimic both the physical appearance and social intelligence of real humans, and then study how they interact. Picture hyper-intelligent video game characters that can carry conversations with users and socialize using human emotions.
Think almost of a significantly smarter, more articulate version of “The Sims.”
Once virtual humans are equipped with artificial intelligence, giving them the ability to learn and adapt as they interact with humans, the technology could offer an endless number of innovative opportunities, researchers said in a video providing a program overview. The service is already using virtual human technology for training seminars and mental health support, like the currently operational ELITE SHARP set of virtual human experiences, which allow users to learn and practice challenging interpersonal skills involved in addressing sexual assault.
While the Army is currently relying on virtual humans as a creative way to improve training and provide medical service, it’s difficult to imagine the technology’s realm of possibility ends there.
“The applications are limitless,” said Jonathan Gratch, the director for the virtual humans research program at USC’s ICT laboratory, Jonathan Gratch, in a video overview. “We don’t even yet begin to realize the potential we could use this technology for.”
The Army requested $2.63m for the research program in fiscal 2019, which is a small increase from the $2.45m it was allotted in 2018. According to the fiscal 2019 Army budget request, the researchers plan to “develop techniques that will allow virtual humans to automatically identify strategic emotional manipulation and defend against it,” as well as equip the virtual characters with the ability to engage in multiple conversations with larger groups of humans.
Peter Khooshabehadeh, a researcher on the Army’s virtual human program, added in a statement to C4ISRNET, “We are designing experiences wherein a virtual human might have more awareness about a user’s effective state, inferred from real-time physiology classification, thereby opening possibilities for novel forms of human agent teaming.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 Feb 18. AI warfare is coming, and some global leaders say NATO isn’t ready. The future of warfare will involve artificial intelligence systems acting as lethal weapons, and much like cyber a decade ago, NATO allies are ill-equipped to manage the potential threat, said current and former European leaders speaking at the Munich Security Conference.
Kersti Kaljulaid, president of Estonia, estimated a 50 percent chance that by the middle of this century we will have an AI system capable of launching a lethal attack. And yet, just as the world was not prepared for a cyberattack when Russia first launched a cyberattack against Estonia in 2007 — bombarding websites of Estonian parliament, banks, ministries, and news outlets — there is no strategy or international law to deter such tactics of warfare.
First, “we need to understand the risks — what we’re afraid of,” said Kaljulaid, pointing to three: someone using AI disruptively; intelligence going widespread; and AI depleting energy.
“Right now we know we want to give systems some right of auto decision-making when it has the necessarily information to react,” Kaljulaid said. But once that is accomplished, “then we have the responsibility” to establish standards — the ability to apply reporting requirements to AI system, or to even shutdown systems if they are deemed threatening.
The kind of standards gradually being put in place for cybersecurity “need to apply to the AI world, exactly the same way,” she said.
For such standards to potentially be established for AI, there must be acceptable models of use in combat, and in conjunction with that, when there is evidence that AI is deployed outside those established boundaries, there must be a right to intervene.
And much like nuclear non-proliferation efforts, “if we say that we will have the right to intervene, we have to have the right to international inspection,” Kaljulaid said.
Among the standards advocated by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO secretary general, is that AI always involve human beings. There are three options, he said during the panel: humans can be in charge, always “in the loop;” humans can be “on the loop” through a supervisory role, able to intervene; or humans can be “out of the loop” – telling the system to attack, and then leaving the rest to the machine.
“I’m in favor of trying to introduce legally binding [standards] that will prevent production and use of these kinds of autonomous lethal weapons,” Rasmussen said, strongly advocating for a human role.
But such standards don’t come fast. It took until 2017 for NATO to declare that a cyberattack would spur an Article 5 response – that being, collective defense among allies — after a massive computer hack paralyzed portions of government and businesses in Ukraine before spreading around the globe. In the meantime, much like cybersecurity, AI presents an opportunity for Russia as well as China to use “grey zones,” said Rasmussen – not initiating open military conflict, but provoking allies enough to disrupt.
So what is the red line?
“The NATO perspective its clear: ambiguity,” Rasmussen said. “We never define when a red line is crossed. We never define how to respond if a certain member state is attacked. Nobody should know when they cross the line and how we would react. It’s easy- abstain from attacking any NATO ally; if you do [attack], we’ll respond decisively. It may be conventional, it may be a cyber counterattack, you never know.”
But to prevent adversaries from taking advantage of the technological capability, “we need leadership from the democratic world,” Rasmussen added. “Whenever the democratic countries retrench and retreat they leave behind a vacuum. And that will be filled by the bad guys.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
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