‘Lack of Imagination and Urgency’: Retired General Slams Pentagon’s Progress in Introducing AI Tech

Over recent years, the Pentagon has introduced several projects that sought to use AI capabilities in the military, such as predicting an enemy’s movements or even constructing and preliminary testing of new weapons.

On 13 November, retired US General, who served in Special Operations Command, Tony Thomas stated that the Pentagon is moving too slow on implementing AI capabilities in the military, Defence One reported.

If that wasn’t enough, the majority of AI use in American forces is mostly limited to “iterating on what we already do, what we already have”, according to Thomas, who suggested that instead the Pentagon must “more aggressively and more creatively thinking [sic] what the art of the possible is”.

“[There’s a ] lack of imagination and a lack of urgency. I don’t want to come off in terms of negative criticism […] But I am a little bit concerned about the pace and the speed that we’re approaching the challenge [of introducing AI into the military]”, he said.

Speaking about possible applications of the AI technology, Thomas said that throughout his career he hasn’t seen “anything that we couldn’t [or] shouldn’t go unmanned”. He suggested that introducing AI-controlled robots in the air, on the ground, and at sea can give American forces an upper edge.

“If you push a force out there that is mostly unmanned, and that’s your attack surface, I think you have a decided advantage and maybe even the best possible deterrent”, the general said.


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