The Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) held a virtual discussion on Sept. 15-16 with allied nations on ethical principles for the use of AI.

The debut Partnership for Defense (PfD) meeting defense included representatives from the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The PfD is to be a long-term forum for multi-lateral coordination on AI in defense. The second meeting is to be early next year.

Stephanie Culberson, JAIC’s head of international AI policy, said in a statement that PfD is committed to the “use of responsible AI in defense, ultimately strengthening our cooperation and improving the interoperability of our militaries.”

“The dialogue provides meaningful exchange as the United States and participating nations make the transition from hardware centric forces to software centric and data focused militaries that are AI ready,” per JAIC. “Ultimately, a strong coalition of AI ready militaries will enable the United States and its allies and partners to realize the potential of emerging technology to strengthen global security, deter shared threats, and respond more efficiently together to natural disasters and other international contingencies.”

The PfD kick-off comes, as the DoD Joint Staff is preparing to deliver a new, Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) to Defense Secretary Mark Esper by the end of the year–a concept that will heavily rely on AI (Defense Daily, Sept. 11).

A main aim of the JWC is to shorten the observe, orient, decide and act targeting cycle significantly–a speed that “will overwhelm an adversary and hopefully create the environment where we no longer have to worry about fighting that war,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), told the virtual DoD Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition on Sept. 9.

The Pentagon’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort to link all services’ communications rapidly across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains is the linchpin of JWC. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown recently told Congress that JADC2 is one of his top priorities. The Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) is the Air Force’s component of JADC2.

Pentagon officials have said that Russia and China are seeking to compete simultaneously across the maritime, land, air, cyber, and space domains and in so-called “gray zone” information operations short of war. The JWC is to include joint command and control, logistics, joint fires, and information advantage in contested environments, and to provide the foundation for DoD budget and acquisition strategies.

DoD Directive 3000.09, signed by former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in 2012, outlines Pentagon policy toward the use of autonomous technologies in manned and unmanned weapon systems. While DoD officials have said that there are no plans for AI to lead to fully autonomous weapons, a Congressional Research Service report last December said that the directive does not prohibit U.S. development and use of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).