Toby Sterling and Stephanie van den Berg

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Ukraine’s effective use of artificial intelligence (AI) to target Russian forces has put the technology on the agenda of military and political leaders around the world, the CEO of U.S. software company Palantir said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the first international summit on the responsible military use of artificial intelligence, CEO Alex Karp said the use of artificial intelligence in war had gone from a “highly erudite ethical debate” to a major issue since the conflict in Ukraine began.

“Now that has changed: Your ability to identify the right technology and implement it will determine what happens on the battlefield,” he said.

“One of the main things we have to do in the West is realize that China and Russia fully understand this lesson.”

Karp previously said that Planatir was “responsible for most of the targeting in Ukraine,” while the company referred to tanks and artillery. It marketed its software as a way to quickly identify resources for deployment by taking feeds from satellites and social media to visualize army positions.

The US and China are among the 50 countries taking part in the REAIM summit in The Hague this week, but the Netherlands and South Korea have not invited Russia.

A majority of delegations are expected to approve a statement of principles when the conference ends on Thursday, although international rules or a treaty to limit the use of artificial intelligence in warfare are seen as distant.

Karp said one of the principles he supports for corporations like his is that they should be able to explain and verify how their technology was used.

He gave the example of an AI decision to strike enemy soldiers near a school or hospital.

“You need an architecture that provides transparency into the data sources, what data sources were used, what the (input) channels are and that allows you to break them down.”

He said that “it should be provided by law. More importantly, it should be regulated by procurement.”

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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