Artificial Intelligence weapons

U.S. to spend $2 billion on artificial intelligence weapons   (12th September, 2018)

The United States Defense Department is going to spend up to $2 billion on artificial intelligence (AI) weapons over the next five years. This will be the most the department has ever spent on AI systems for weapons. The department wants to have the most advanced weapons in the world. It wants its weapons to be better than those of China. Defense bosses want future weapons to be trusted and accepted by military generals and commanders. They want to make sure weapons in the future do not make mistakes. Department official John Everett said: "We think it's a good time to seed the field of AI. We think we can accelerate two decades of progress into five years."
Some of the new AI weapons may be able to make and act on their own decisions. This means computer systems and algorithms could make a decision (without any human decision-making) to attack a target that could kill people. Many people think this is dangerous and could lead to innocent lives being lost. The Defense Department said AI technology could, "make it possible to develop and [use] autonomous systems that could independently select and attack targets with [deadly] force". It added that weapons using AI systems can currently choose targets on their own, but military commanders do not want to let the weapons decide on the targets to attack. The commanders want to make the final decision.


1. WEAPONS: Students discuss the types of weapons around the group.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       defense / artificial intelligence / weapons / advanced / military / generals / decades /
       decisions / computer systems / algorithms / dangerous / force / targets / commanders
Students A strongly believe artificial intelligence is dangerous;
Students B strongly believe it isn't. 
4. AI: How can AI help us in our lives? Could there be any dangers? Complete this table with your partner(s). 

                                      Help           Dangers
In out homes                 

5. DEPARTMENT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "department". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. $2 BILLION: Rank these with your partner. Put the best things to spend $2 billion on at the top.

      small businesses

1.        VOCABULARY
 Paragraph 1
People in charge (the leaders)  of a worker, company or organization.
Made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally.
Has the quality of being believed in by people.
Agreed to a person, plan or offer.
Sets of things working together as parts of a machine or an interconnecting network.
Advances or development toward a better, more complete, or more modern condition.
A period of ten years.
    Paragraph 2
A person, object, or place selected as the aim of an attack.
Acting independently or having the freedom to do so.
A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
Not responsible for or directly involved in an event, but suffering its effects.
Making people do things they don't want to, especially with the use or threat of violence.
Grow or cause to grow and become more mature and advanced.
About the soldiers, armies, navies, etc. of a country.
 3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.      up to
2.      next
3.      advanced
4.      accepted
5.      accelerate
6.      decisions
7.      lead to
8.      select
9.      deadly
10.  final
a.       modern
b.      lethal
c.       speed up
d.      cause
e.       upcoming
f.       choose
g.      last
h.      as much as
i.        judgments
j.        welcomed

1.           The USA will spend over $2 billion on artificial intelligence for weapons.   T / F
2.           The USA has a five-year spending plan for the weapons.     T / F
3.           The article says the USA wants better weapons than  China.    T / F
4.           The USA will try to do 20 years of work in just five years.     T / F
5.           The new weapons will not be able to make decisions without humans.     T / F
6.           Nobody thinks the artificial intelligence weapons will be dangerous.     T / F
7.           A.I. weapons will never be able to select targets on their own.     T / F
8.           Military commanders want to make final decisions about targets.     T / F

5.                    COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
1.                      How long will it take the USA to spend the $2 billion?
2.                      What countries does the USA want to have better weapons than?
3.                      Who does the USA want to trust and accept its new weapons?
4.                      What do officials not want the new weapons to do?
5.                      How many years of work do officials want to put into five years?
6.                      What allows the weapons to make decisions besides computer systems?
7.                      What do many people think could be lost because of the new weapons?
8.                      What kind of force could the new weapons attack targets with?
9.                      What can AI systems currently choose on their own?
10.                  What do commanders want to make regarding attacking targets?

6.                  PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.                  the most the department has
2.                  the most advanced
3.                  trusted and accepted
4.                  make sure weapons in the future do
5.                  we can accelerate two decades of
6.                  act on their own
7.                  computer systems and
8.                  lead to innocent lives
9.                  select and attack targets with
10.              The commanders want to make
a.                  not make mistakes
b.                  the final decision
c.                  ever spent
d.                 algorithms
e.                  by military generals
f.                   deadly force
g.                  weapons in the world
h.                  progress into five years
i.                    decisions
j.                    being lost

7.     Role play
Role  A – Weapons
You think weapons are the best thing to spend $2 billion on. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with spending on their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to get money (and why): schools, hospitals or small businesses.

Role  B – Schools
You think schools are the best thing to spend $2 billion on. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with spending on their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to get money (and why): weapons, hospitals or small businesses.

Role  C – Hospitals
You think hospitals are the best thing to spend $2 billion on. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with spending on their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to get money (and why): schools, weapons or small businesses.

Role  D – Small Businesses
You think small businesses are the best thing to spend $2 billion on. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with spending on their things. Also, tell the others which is the last of these to get money (and why): schools, hospitals or weapons.

8.      After reading
8.1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms  for the words  'artificial' and 'intelligence'.
Make questions using the words you found.
Ask your partner / group your questions.
8.2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

9.      Discussion - U.S. to spend $2 billion on artificial intelligence weapons
STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.      What did you think when you read the headline?
2.      What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'weapon'?
3.      Is $2 billion a lot to spend on a defense system?
4.      How could the $2 billion be used is better ways?
5.      What do you think of weapons?
6.      What do you think of artificial intelligence?
7.      What do you think of weapons with artificial intelligence?
8.      What do you think of weapons that decide to bomb people?
9.      What will future weapons be like?
10.  What would the world be like with no weapons?
STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.      Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
2.      What do you think of when you hear the word 'intelligence'?
3.      What do you think about what you read?
4.      What are the weapons like in your country's army?
5.      Why do countries think they need weapons?
6.      Should humans always make the decision about what to target?
7.      What would happen if we could not control AI weapons?
8.      How does AI help your life?
9.      Could artificial intelligence weapons destroy the Earth?
10.  What questions would you like to ask the U.S. Defense Department?

11.               Spelling

1.                  the most the darettmnpe has ever spent
2.                  the most eavadcdn weapons
3.                  taepdcce by military generals
4.                  do not make aketimss
5.                  We think we can cteeaaeclr
6.                  two cdeedsa of progress
7.                  Paragraph 2
8.                  act on their own ssociiden
9.                  computer semtsys
10.              lead to nicnneot lives being lost
11.              make it ispesblo
12.              attack targets with deadly cfero
13.              can lcrternuy choose

12.               Put the words in the right order
1.                      department   most   ever   the   The   spent   .   has
2.                      advanced   in   most   the   Have   the   weapons   world   .
3.                      wants   its   to   be   better   .   weapons   It
4.                      bosses   Defense   want   be   future   to   weapons   trusted   .
5.                      a   to   good   think   We   seed   .   time   it's
6.                      human   without   decision-making   .   Make   a   any   decision
7.                      lost   .   innocent   This   to   could   lives   being   lead
8.                      using   systems   choose   AI   can   currently   Weapons   targets   .
9.                      weapons   targets   decide   the   on   attack   .   The   to
10.                  want   decision   .   The   commanders   the   make   to   final

11.            Academic writing
All countries should destroy their weapons. Discuss.

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