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Home > News > World News > Article > UN criticises use of AI by Israel military

UN criticises use of AI by Israel military

Updated on: 07 April,2024 07:28 AM IST  |  United Nations
Agencies |

The Secretary-General also demands answers about slain humanitarian workers after World Central Kitchen tragedy

UN criticises use of AI by Israel military

Mourners offer funeral prayers next to the body of a worker from the World Central Kitchen. Pic/Getty Images

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over reports about the Israeli military using artificial intelligence (AI) in its bombing spree in Gaza. Reports showed that AI was used to identify targets, particularly in “densely populated residential areas, resulting in a high level of civilian casualties”, he told reporters on Friday. “No part of life-and-death decisions, which impact entire families, should be delegated to the cold calculation of algorithms,” he said at a press encounter, as the Hamas-Israel conflict is nearly six months old.

The Israeli military campaign has reportedly killed more than 32,000 and injured more than 75,000 others, the vast majority of them women and children, Guterres was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. More than half of the population in Gaza—over a million people—is facing catastrophic hunger, with children dying for lack of food and water, he said. “Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” said the UN chief.

Guterres has called for a paradigm shift in Israel’s military strategy in Gaza and in aid delivery to save lives. Following this week’s appalling killing of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen, the Israeli government has acknowledged mistakes and announced some disciplinary measures, Guterres said on Friday. “But the essential problem is not who made the mistakes, it is the military strategy and procedures in place that allow for those mistakes to multiply time and time again.”

Fixing those failures requires independent investigations and meaningful and measurable change on the ground, he said. An information war has added to the trauma, obscuring facts and shifting blame. Denying international journalists entry into Gaza is allowing disinformation and false narratives to flourish, he said. Guterres demanded an investigation into those killings, noting that investigation can only work with the cooperation of the Israeli authorities. “One hundred and ninety-six humanitarian workers have been killed, and we want to know why each one of them was killed,” he said.

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