The Navy wants to integrate robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) into more of its workload, from warfighting missions to non-combat support roles, and is seeking fleet input on what types of AI research are worth investing in.
“The private sector is investing heavily in AI and robotics automation for decision-making and physical implementation tasks,” according to the memo. “The DON could benefit from considering how to adapt recent private sector advances in fields such as machine learning, natural language processing, ontological engineering, and automated planning for naval applications.”
Concerns have been raised on how much autonomy to give weapon systems in the last several years.
In April 2013, the United Nations called for a moratorium on lethal autonomous systems, saying that systems with artificial intelligence should not make life-or-death decisions. The report mentioned the Northrop Grumman X-47B as a lethal system with some degree of autonomy.