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Roundup of January 2023 Artificial Intelligence Developments

 |  February 24, 2023

By: Jayne Ponder, Robert Huffman, Stephanie Barna & Jorge Ortiz (Inside Tech Media)

U.S. federal agencies and working groups have promulgated a number of issuances in January 2023 related to the development and use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) systems.  These updates join proposals in Congress to pass legislation related to AI.  Specifically, in January 2023, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) updated Department of Defense Directive 3000.09 and the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (“NAIRR”) Task Force Final Report on AI; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released its AI Risk Management Framework, each discussed below.

Department of Defense Directive 3000.09. 

On January 25, 2023, the DoD updated Directive 3000.09, “Autonomy in Weapon Systems,” which governs the development and fielding of autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems, including those systems that incorporate AI technologies.  The Directive has three primary purposes:  (1) establishing a policy and assigning responsibilities for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapons systems; (2) establishing guidelines designed to minimize the probability and consequences of failures in such systems; and (3) establishing the “Autonomous Weapon Systems Working Group.”  For example, the Directive provides that autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems will be designed to allow commanders and operators “to exercise appropriate levels of human judgment” over the use of force, and that these systems must be subject to verification and validation testing to build confidence in the weapon system’s operation.  The Directive also underscores that design and development of AI capabilities in autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems must be consistent with the DoD’s AI Ethical Principles – specifically, that the AI is: (1) responsible; (2) equitable; (3) traceable; (4) reliable; and (5) governable.  The Directive outlines a number of roles and responsibilities regarding oversight for autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems and provides guidance as to when senior review and approval are required to use these types of systems.  Directive 3000.09 and the DoD’s AI Ethical Principles will be important for entities working with, and providing AI-enabled tools and services for the DoD…