[REAIM 2023] International community calls for responsible use of AI in military

[REAIM 2023] International community calls for responsible use of AI in military
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra delivers his speech on Wednesday at the plenary opening session of the REAIM summit which was held in The Hague. Source: The REAIM 2023

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Feb. 17, 2023 8:00PM GMT+9 Updated Feb. 20, 2023 8:45PM GMT+9

Leaders and delegates around the world convened on Wednesday to discuss the challenges and risks of using artificial intelligence (AI) and the need to prioritize the accountable adaptation of emerging technologies in the military domain. The summit, which was the first of its kind, was held in The Hague and hosted by the Netherlands and co-hosted by South Korea. The Readable has highlighted some of the important statements by the presenters and discussants in the plenary opening session of the REAIM summit.

[Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Wopke Hoekstra, the minister of foreign affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Photo by the REAIM 2023

“Together, we must seek common ground on the definitions of these technologies, starting with two actually quite basic questions: What is AI? And who is responsible for its actions? We need to answer these questions before we can set common standards. And before we can allocate responsibilities and agree on tools that mitigate risks.”

[Dutch Ministry of Defense] General Onno Eichelsheim, chief of defense of the Netherlands Armed Forces

Photo by the REAIM 2023

“I think we have one goal and one course and that is using AI on the reliable way and on a trustworthy way. So, that we make sure that the human is in the loop at the right moments but also, I think we should also put on the table and have that discussion on the defense side. War is dirty. Our opponents will use AI and perhaps not under the same strict regulations as we will do. So, we have to find solutions at the moments that we have to defend ourselves in circumstances that we have to use AI faster than perhaps we would like.”

[Amnesty International] Agnès Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International

Photo by the REAIM 2023

“We cannot just think here in this room there are only good people that are going to use this intelligence to defend. This is not the case. Point number one, it will be used to target those individuals, the one running for their life. Point number two, where have you been for the last 70 years. Wars are dirty. Biases are part of warfare. I am working for Amnesty International. I have worked in human rights all my life. There is not one clean war. Wars are full of biases. Wars are driven by biases. So, you are creating a technology that can encode biases targeting blacks, targeting Jews, targeting refugees, targeting red haired people. That is what this technology can bring in.”

[Lockheed Martin] Steven Walker, vice president, and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin

Photo by the REAIM 2023

“AI is typically treated like a black box. It spits out an answer with some probability that it’s right, and that is not enough for miliary operator to use. (…) So explainability is important from the standpoint you don’t want to just say it’s a cat. We want it to say it’s a cat because it has whiskers, it has furs, it’s black, it has a tail, it’s got claws. That is a simple example, but it helps the military operator, I think, to understand. Well, here is the answer this is spitting out. Why is that the answer? And I think that is going to be required for military use.”


Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Koreas top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelors degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.