The United States has expressed its readiness to support the Nigerian military in harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for counterterrorism efforts. This declaration came from Paul Dean, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability, during his visit to Nigeria.
Paul Dean’s visit to Nigeria primarily aims to deepen discussions on diplomatic efforts geared toward enhancing stability and conflict prevention in the region. However, during his engagement with journalists in Abuja, he emphasized the United States’ willingness to cooperate with Nigeria in the development and responsible deployment of AI in military operations.
Strengthening the security partnership
Dean noted that the United States seeks to strengthen its existing strong security partnership with Nigeria, particularly in the realm of AI and military applications. He highlighted the significant potential of AI in enhancing military operations and improving overall efficiency.
The US government, through the ADS bureau, is eager to promote the positive applications of AI in the military. Dean emphasized that AI can provide tangible benefits to military operations, ranging from enhanced decision-making to more effective and efficient combat strategies.
Responsible use of AI in the military
While acknowledging the potential advantages of AI, Dean also stressed the importance of responsible AI use. He emphasized the need for a normative framework that guides the responsible application of AI in military contexts. This framework aims to ensure that AI is used predictably, transparently, stably, and responsibly, reducing the risk of unintended consequences and negative applications.
Tragedy in Kaduna
Dean expressed his condolences over the recent tragic incident in Kaduna State, where civilians were mistakenly killed and wounded during a drone strike targeting terrorists and bandits. This incident highlights the importance of accurate and responsible use of technology, particularly in an era marked by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Industry 4.0.
Isa Pantami, the former Minister of Communications in Nigeria, highlighted that such mistakes could be avoided in the 4IR era with emerging technologies like AI and machine learning. These technologies have the potential to achieve nearly 100% accuracy when used in drone warfare and other military operations.
Improving efficiency and eliminating biases
Dean emphasized that the adaptation of AI in military operations can lead to improved efficiency, the elimination of biases, and enhanced decision-making processes. This technology can significantly benefit the military and contribute to achieving national security objectives.
Paul Dean expressed the shared interests between the United States and Nigeria in several areas, including non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons prohibition, responsible use of outer space, and risk reduction measures for regional security.
Endorsing responsible use of AI in military applications
Last month, the United States, along with 47 other partners, endorsed a groundbreaking political declaration concerning the responsible use of AI and autonomy in military applications. Dean welcomed Nigeria’s interest in endorsing this declaration and collaborating to refine the ten measures of responsible conduct it contains.
Dean stressed the historic opportunity to work together with partners to build an international framework for responsible AI use in the military. This framework aims to establish norms and guidelines for the responsible deployment of AI technologies, ensuring their benefits are maximized while minimizing risks and negative consequences.
In addition to AI and military applications, Dean’s organization expressed its willingness to partner with the Nigerian government to address the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country. The US Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability is dedicated to deterring conflict, promoting stability, and establishing norms of responsible behavior in the military domain.
Dean’s visit and discussions with Nigerian officials underscore the commitment of both countries to promoting regional security and stability. Through collaboration, they aim to harness the potential of emerging technologies like AI for the benefit of their nations and the broader international community.