AI Integration in Israeli Military Operations Aims to Reduce Collateral Damage, Expert Says

Israel’s use of AI and Machine Learning tools in the Gaza conflict draws attention as experts emphasize the potential to enhance targeting accuracy and minimize unintended consequences

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As the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) face scrutiny over collateral damage and civilian casualties in the conflict with Hamas, experts highlight the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in refining targeting procedures. Mark Montgomery, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation, asserts that if executed properly, AI can assist in streamlining the targeting identification, evaluation, and assessment process.

Montgomery emphasizes that AI tools should contribute to the acceleration of target identification efforts, enabling a more agile and efficient targeting process. He underscores that despite AI involvement, there will still be human oversight in the targeting process.

The IDF has been at the forefront of incorporating military AI, utilizing it for real-time visual targeting from various platforms, including tanks and drones. Target selection based on environmental data is another application of AI in military operations. The IDF emphasizes the importance of human involvement in reviewing the final decisions, emphasizing that no aspect of the process is fully automated.

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Addressing criticism of collateral damage, Montgomery argues that AI isn’t the driving factor; instead, he points to the challenging environment in which the conflict unfolds. He suggests that Hamas’s tactics, including the use of civilians as shields and the placement of war-fighting capabilities near civilian infrastructure, contribute significantly to civilian casualties.

Responding to concerns about the controversy surrounding the use of AI, Montgomery notes that the IDF faces a difficult situation in justifying its actions. He points out that efforts to present evidence, such as revealing tunnels under hospitals, may still be met with skepticism, and the use of AI for examining sonar imaging could lead to accusations of manipulation.

In the complex landscape of the Gaza conflict, the role of AI in military operations continues to be a topic of discussion, with experts weighing the potential benefits in terms of targeting efficiency and the need for transparency in justifying military actions.