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Analysis: Israel has tainted AI with genocide

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Israel’s use of advanced software tools underscores a harrowing reality: AI, when misapplied, can facilitate atrocities of catastrophic proportions

As artificial intelligence progressively integrates multiple facets of life, discussions continue to abound regarding its potential ramifications and ethical dilemmas. While diverse assessments exist for each domain, a recurring theme underscores the pivotal role of human input in AI-driven endeavors. In essence, individuals who craft codes and issue directives are at the heart of these developments. The conduct of warfare is among the many domains influenced by AI, and the latter’s impact on this field is no longer theoretical. Gaza is a case in point.

Consider, for instance, the advancements in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their effect on air defense. Here lies a fundamental truth: The more sophisticated AI technology gets, the greater its capacity to direct autonomous attacks becomes a battlefield reality.

This evolution prompts profound questions about human agency and responsibility within AI debates. What if the person wielding the technological prowess harbors a militaristic ideology so extreme that it sanctions genocidal actions?

Israel uses AI for its malicious purposes

This scenario lays bare a critical issue addressed in a recent controversial piece [1] published by +972 Magazine. The article delves into Israel’s utilization of AI-driven processes in intelligence analysis and target identification, resulting in a disturbingly high civilian casualty toll among Palestinians. Over a period exceeding 6 months, Israel has conducted airstrikes with indiscriminate genocidal intent, as revealed through the candid admissions of numerous military intelligence insiders. Their confession-like statements about Israel’s use of advanced software tools, such as Lavender and Where’s Daddy, underscores a harrowing reality: AI, when misapplied, can facilitate atrocities of catastrophic proportions, and turn out to be as inhumane as possible.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s communication often follows the path of censorship, obfuscation, and deflection tactics. This time was no different. The spokesperson dismissed the accusations with a mere denial. [2] Yet, the stark reality reflected in the civilian death toll leaves little room to ignore the assertions made about the AI-driven genocidal undertaking attributed to Lavender. The algorithm used indicated the acceptance of 15-20 civilian casualties for one low-ranking Hamas member and up to 100 for one senior Hamas member.

AI is still in the infancy stage. Many corporations would not trust AI at this juncture to run their customer service. So, how dare the Israeli military use AI to determine who lives and who dies, and how many innocent bystanders must die for one resistance operative?

Such robotization of inhumanity is very disturbing. Alas, the figures are aligned with the reported death tolls in Gaza. Furthermore, the use of unguided bombs, which cause enormous devastation in heavily populated areas in scenarios involving unconfirmed junior Hamas members, suggests that Israel is conducting more war crimes, this time pretexting the use of AI.

In essence, the situation boils down to a straightforward logic: Lavender’s method of compiling death lists based on physical traits and affiliations was seemingly acted upon without critical examination. When we factor in the Israel army’s apparent indifference to the margin of error in these operations, as evidenced by a list encompassing 37,000 Palestinians, the implications of a potentially deliberate killing strategy become deeply shocking, inhuman, and intentionally genocidal.

AI-enabled systems must be regulated by international order

The advancements in AI-assisted warfare technologies have propelled military capabilities forward, yet they warrant even more profound ethical considerations. The emergence of decision-making mechanisms exclusively reliant on machines poses significant challenges. For instance, Israel attempted to present Gospel as a software capable of differentiating between civilian and military targets. The aim was for the Israeli leaders to cultivate a favorable perception as a “respectful” occupier that does not harm the civilian population and public buildings. The devastating outcome suggests that the reality is far different from what they would have us believe.

When considering what actions should be taken in response to these claims, the foremost challenge is the lack of a global governing framework for AI. This issue is particularly acute in the military and intelligence sectors, where states are often reluctant to share information. Information regarding AI-enabled systems mostly comes to light through disclosures by insiders, as seen in the Lavender case.

However, the concerns stemming from the minimal reduction of human agency in the use of such systems encapsulate Israel’s approach to the Gaza war: disproportionality, indiscriminate targeting, and a deliberate disregard for the boundaries of international humanitarian law. Addressing these challenges requires international cooperation to establish clear guidelines and regulations that govern the development, deployment, and accountability of AI technologies in warfare, ensuring adherence to ethical standards [3] and respect for human rights.

The genocidal project that Israel is carrying out in Gaza with AI-supported software is, in fact, a crime of the West that has recklessly instilled this courage and confidence in it as they have offered a blank check [4] to Israel since Oct. 7.

Western nations, which like to lecture other countries on human rights and freedoms over the smallest issues, have been accomplices to these automated mass killings carried out without distinction since Oct. 7.

With the revolutionary changes brought by AI and robotics to warfare, it is time to update the international legislative instruments and put checks and balances that curtail Israeli attacks. Failure to do so would not only embolden the Israelis in their blind fury but also normalize AI as an instrument of genocide.

Source: AA / Burak Elmali

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