Since 2010, various US agencies have been developing a top-secret artificial intelligence system that they called Sentient, a term that translates as “conscious” or “endowed with senses.”
The documents confidential and classified recently published by The Verge describes the Program Sentient National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as an intelligence system fully integrated system that can coordinate satellite positions, and will soon be used to manage operations in the battlefield during military clashes.
Restricted Access To The Artificial Brain Called “The Sentient”
Even now, details about the Sentient Program are few and far between, and government officials provide minimal answers to direct questions about what the AI system can do and how it will be used in future conflicts.
“The standard practice of the NRO and the intelligence community is NOT to disclose sensitive sources and methods, as such disclosure presents a high risk of being countered by adversary nations,” said NRO Deputy Director of Public Affairs Karen Furgerson, to The Verge . “Such loss hurts our nation and its allies; it diminishes the information advantage and national security of the United States. For those reasons, the details about Sentient remain classified and what we can say about it is limited. “
Ultimately, such secrecy means that this “artificial brain” could be implemented without people knowing, and the algorithms, with all their built-in biases, could be leading military conflicts in the near future.