US lectures Nigeria on how to avoid accidental bombings, killings of innocents

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The United States of America, through its Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability, has reacted to the accidental bombing of innocent civilians in Kaduna State by the Nigerian Army that killed more than 90 persons.

The Bureau, in its reaction on Thursday, said that the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help the Nigerian Armed Forces reduce the incidences of accidental bombings in its war against terrorism and other security threats to the barest minimum.

According to the Deterrence Bureau, the adoption of AI by the Nigerian military will, apart from improving its precision capabilities, also prevent the military from running foul of international humanitarian law.

Making this known during a roundtable with the media in Abuja, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Paul Dean, said: “First of all, deep condolences on the tragedy that happened over this week. I do think your question raises the very salient point that artificial intelligence will help militaries improve their operations in a very tangible way. Artificial intelligence will help militaries deliver on their international humanitarian law obligations. It will help militaries improve efficiency, eliminate biases, and improve overall decision-making.

“This, I think, will be of enormous value to global stability. We want to encourage the positive applications of artificial intelligence in the military. This initiative that we and our partners launched just last month is centred around achieving just that: maximizing the tremendous value of artificial intelligence in military applications.

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“At the same time, ensuring the international community has coalesced around a series of norms of responsible behaviour to make sure that we are reducing the risk of unintended consequences or negative applications.

“So we are convinced that when states commit themselves to using this technology in a predictable, transparent, stable, and responsible way, the international community will be in a position of maximizing the advantages while reducing the risks of an irresponsible approach.”

Dean also stated his organisation preparedness to partner with the Federal Government to curb the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country.

“Really, the work of our Bureau is engaged in the full range of deterring conflict, promoting stability, and norms of responsible behavior in the military domain. And I think this makes us a natural fit for our partners here in Nigeria.

“We’re here to cooperate in areas of mutual interest and concern regarding the prohibition of chemical weapons, the pursuit of nuclear stability, the responsible use of outer space, and the use of risk reduction measures to advance issues of regional security.

“Last month, we were joined by 47 other partners (countries) in endorsing a groundbreaking political declaration on the responsible use of artificial intelligence and autonomy in military applications.

“The 47 countries are from all five UN regional groups, and so this is a cross-regional group of like-minded countries. The door is still open, and this is part of our trip to emphasize that we deeply value Nigeria’s participation in this as a leader.

“We strongly welcome interest by our Nigerian partners to join us in endorsing this declaration and join us in working around this declaration to strengthen the 10 measures of responsible conduct that it contains, refine them, and work with us to build international capacity to implement them.

“In my view, we are at a historic opportunity right now to work together with all of our partners to build from the ground up the international framework of responsibility for artificial intelligence in the military.

“I think Nigeria is a natural leader in this area, and their commitment to responsible behaviour and stability that I’ve heard during my visit here convinces me that Nigeria would be an indispensable and valuable partner whose perspective would greatly add to the discussion of how the international community can ensure that artificial intelligence in the military is incorporated in a safe, stable, and reliable manner”, Dean said.

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