RIYADH: The increasing use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, neuro and biotechnology are not only creating new opportunities and efficiencies but also bringing social uncertainty, risks and tensions in the defense sector, experts said during a panel discussion at the International Defense Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking at the conference, the UAE's Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Omar Sultana Al Olama. said artificial intelligence tools often lack ethical decision-making capabilities like humans.
“The limitations are the challenges you have with false positives. Ethical decision-making with a high level of competence is unfortunately not to the degree of a very well-trained human being, but with time we’re going to see that as we feed the systems with more and more data, they’re going to be able to give us a better output compared to what we have today,” said Al Olama.
He pointed out that these systems do not have the same level of empathy and thinking as humans. “It is important that the decisions made are not too extreme or offensive.”
Al Olama further noted that more cooperation between countries and entities is needed to ensure a better outcome in terms of the usage of AI in both the civilian and military worlds.
John W. Nicholson Jr, CEO of Lockheed Martin Middle East opined that training people with these advanced technologies is the key to a better future.
“Even though AI offers a lot in terms of efficiency and better decision-making, the man in the front of the machine is making the final decision, which clearly indicates the crucial role of human beings in controlling these technologies,” he said.
According to Nicholson Jr, AI is not about replacing human decision-making but rather enhancing human decision-making. “Al is very good at detecting anomalies and this allows the human to come in and verify what needs to be done.”
During the panel discussion, Roy Donelson, CEO of Raytheon MENA said that threats associated with the advent of AI are becoming more complex and unpredictable.
“Many technologies are out there and AI is one of them… you have directed energy hypersonic. The list goes on…how these are integrated…could be the key in the future. Our goal is to deter conflict… to ensure that the capabilities that we and our partners have are so good that no one would want to risk conflict with us,” said Donelson.