29 thoughts on “Israeli Air Force Seeks to Replace Human Pilot Judgment with “Ethical Algorithm” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. With respect to Israeli high schools that train students for the IAF, you wrote:

    “If the U.S. armed forces tried anything like this there would be an uproar.”

    However, there are several such schools across the United States.

    I believe there are approximately 20 US high schools that are military academies, funded by the US Department of Defense as part of the Junior ROTC.

  2. The part about the technological schools of the air-force is out of touch.
    Those technological schools to not train the students to be the best warriors, they train them to be part of the technological backbone of the IAF. And you missed the point by about 200 Miles. A student in those schools will learn and pass his/her GED exam learning: Citizenship studies, Math, English, History, Bible studies, literature , physics and all other required subjects to pass the GED according to the guidelines of the ministry of education and in addition they will learn aerodynamics, robotics, electronics, airplane maintenance etc.

    The purpose of these schools was / is help students (who mostly belong to lower class – hence the location of the schools) to acquire a profession for life.

    You notion that the kids would help the IAF with writing code is so out of touch, it shows how little someone who’s located in Seattle really knows about life in Israel. IAF would never let those kids write code for many reasons, one of the reasons is that they have no security clearance, they are not soldiers.

    1. In today’s military warriors are the “technological backbone of the services” including the IAF. Who do you think assassinates militants from drones? The technicians who fly & fire the drone’s missiles.

      As for acquiring a profession for life: I guess in today’s Israeli or U.S. military there will be increasing demands for technical killers (i.e. drone operators) so in a sense this could be a profession for life. Also learning to write code & becoming a cyberwarrior is also a profession for life even if that profession brings the region that much closer to war.

      BTW, I didn’t claim the IAF was proposing to allow high school teenagers to write miitary code. Amir Mizroch did after interviewing the IAF commander of the excercise described. If you want to snigger at the notion you ought to take it up with him & possible the commander himself.

      1. Technological backbone = Airplane mechanics, Electronic Engineers etc. not drone operators.
        The graduate of those technological high-schools who will chose to serve in the IAF (They can volunteer to get out of that commitment) , will do so in a maintenance related fashion. If they are selected (based on different criteria) and will undergo the required training upon enlisting to service then they may receive the adequate training and serve as drone operators, But as it stands there is no correlation between those kids and drone operators, and most of them will never become ones (most = 99.9%)
        As for Mizroch’s claim, you repeated it, so now you own it.

          1. And you know that because you looked at the crystal ball on your desk ?
            Boy you are a narcissistic aren’t you ?

  3. If the algorithm had been present at Pristina airport when the Russian paratroopers turned up, instead of General Jackson, the overall commander’s policy would have been robotically implemented and we (those who’d survived) would be living in the aftermath of world war three.

    Algorithms (so far) can mimic only the conscious part of our decision-making processes: the unconscious mind handles an awful lot of parallel processing of background facts that we’re simply not aware of, and this guides us around pitfalls not immediately apparent in the two or three items of information which is all that most people can process in their conscious mind.

    For the time being, let’s have something alive in charge of the life or death decisions.

    In this case, Israel is reflecting what the neocons would like American policy to be. There have been murmurings about letting drones take more autonomous decisions, which is different from conducting a pre-planned strike mission more autonomously. What they really mean, is when someone unexpected is detected, the drone will decide for itself whether they are a civilian or a combatant.

    This could be very hard to do in countries were every shepherd carries, and probably needs, an automatic weapon.

  4. There’s lots of out-of-touch information and presumptions here which make this article a complete mish-mash:

    Technological schools teach regular Bagrut in addition to emphasis on science and technology. The kids are not soldiers.
    There are a number of US high schools funded by the military.
    Druze villages are not impoverished.
    Druze soldiers who serve in the army as career soldiers receive the same conditions as any other soldier.

    1. @ Rain
      “Druze villages are not impoverished. Druze soldiers who serve in the army as career soldiers receive the same conditions as any other soldier”

      I wonder if you actually believe that yourself ?

      Poverty in Israel’ by Dirk Michel & Claudia Schertges, Department of Educational Sociology, University of Aarhus, Denmark (on the net)
      “The Druzes belong to the poorest part of the Israeli population. Their educational level is low and only a few Druze are employed in highly qualified and notable positions. In recent times the younger generation of the Druzes have been plitically radicalized and they show publicly their disapproval and annoyance concerning the Israeli state policies”

      “Even those who made the army their carreer have complained of severe limitations in promotions”

      In this “Working Paper from the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality. Ben Gourion University, you’ll find “the dimension of poverty in the Arab society in Isreal” p 18.
      The severity of the poverty among the Druzes is about 3 times higher than that of the Jewish reference group.


      If Ben Gourion University is too left-winged for you, Gabriel Ben-Dor from the Likudnik Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has an article on “The Druze minority in Israel in the mid-1990s” and it has worsens since:

      1. As I just wrote in response to Rain, he’s slinging bulls(&t unfortunately. Which makes all the rest of his claims appear tainted & hasbarist. These people don’t realize that if they make up one set of claims that people will discount all their claims, even when they might be right or reasonable. So why waste everyone’s time in this way? Unless of course, he’s paid by the comment by the MFA or someone of that ilk. Then the horse manure would make more sense as a tactic.

        1. It’s my impression that some of these people don’t care whether their statements are true or not: it’s about filling up the space. And then we have others who genuinly believe what they write. I don’t know who to pity most.
          Anyhow, it’s funny that these are the people saying that you can’t trust Arabs….

    2. How would you know the living conditions in Druze villages? You don’t. Unless you offer some real evidence you’re just slinging bulls(&t. Do you have any? I mean real evidence proving living conditions overall are comparable to Jewish communities. Not an anecdote or story from Jerusalem Post.

      1. You know why the IAF schools target the druz ? not because of their Arabic speaking skills (very little Arabic is used in Airplane Maintenance / Computer Programming / Electronics studies)
        They do so because one of the role of those schools is to elevate the chances of students from lower classes into a high income generating profession and a better life.
        your notion that they will become drone operators because they speak Arabic, is out of whack. Let me tell you a little secret a drone operator speaks Hebrew they communicate with air traffic control and command center, not with the office is Ismail Haniya.

        1. “They do so because one of the role of those schools is to elevate the chances of students from lower classes into a high income generating profession and a better life.”
          That brought tears to my eyes…

        2. So you’re claiming that the IAF has no use for Arabic speakers? That it has no intelligence function that would need such specialty? How do they identify targets they’re trying to assassinate by drone or F-16 missile strike? You’re not even credible.

          As for “elevating” the Druze from “lower classes” (I guess you’re now conceding that the Druze suffer economic deprivation in comparison with Jews) to “high income” professions, Israel’s benificence & magnanimity is truly touching. You should be flacking for the Hasbara Ministry. They could use you (or maybe they DO).

          1. Talking to someone with no knowledge base who think he knows something, is a hard thing to do.

            The kids who go to the schools do not assist any branches of the military. So how does the IAF intel benefits from them speaking Arabic ?
            After they graduate first service option is within the IAF mechanical / electronics division. Only way for them to get out of the commitment is volunteer to serve in a combat unit, Druz traditionally have their own unit named sword.
            So anyway you look at it, these kids will no use their Arabic at school or during the service.

            @ Elisabeth, maybe you should go to one of the schools and visit, i imagine you have never even visited the state of Israel.

  5. The only proof I can offer for knowing about living conditions in Druze villages is that I live next to two of them. I have friends there, shop there, work with people from there.

    Guess the view from here is “horse manure” as you state. And is so much is clearer from Seattle 😉

    1. Yeah, we know when people have no academic material to offer, they always have suuuuuch a close personal link to the topic whether that concerns Bedouins, West Bank Palestinians, 48-Palestinians or even the Canaanites. In fact most Israeli Jews are part-time sociologists. Next, you’re going to tell us that you’re a specialist on Druze religion too…. or married to one…..

      Why don’t you look at the objective figures given by the Working Paper from Ben Gourion University who clearly contradicts your personal impressions.

      Druze like other Arabs put a lot into dignity and don’t go around showing their poverty to outsiders, and you are an outsider in spite of your ‘Druze friends’….
      The concept of “taqiyyah” that Islamophobes cherish a lot these days is a fundamental concept in Druze culture, and how they’ve adapted to various situations, Zionism included.

      1. Yup, I will never forget “Ilan” who “danced the dabka” with his West Bank day-laborers and claimed they were “more important than family” to him. But he never invited them back to his own house and joked about the Nakba.
        Dutch colonialsist also believed they Indonesians had it great and really loved them. Paternalism is always the same.

        1. Haha, Ilan and his Palestinian workers-that-he-loved-more- than-anything and who invited him to ALL their family gatherings was one of a kind (wonder why he wasn’t a One Stater with all that love), and so was Free Man who actually was a great specialist on the Druzes. He claimed he knew their religious rituals very well, better than al-Azhar in fact, as he had soooo many Druzes friends too. Everyone but Free Man knows that the Druzes are very secret about their rituals.

      2. Our right wing Israeli friends are part time sociologists, specialists in Palestinian nationalism, and the study of Islam, not to mention military analysts, and all around experts in the Arab mind. Something like Edward Said’s Orientalists.

          1. We don’t use the term “pensioner” in the U.S. and I am neither a pensioner nor retiree. If you ever make any personal statements about me or claims about my personal life you will be banned.

          2. “We don’t use the term “pensioner” in the U.S.”
            How fortunate that I am not in the U.S., then.

            There is no shame in being retired.
            Often, old men spend the eve of their life sitting on a bench, spitting bitter bile at random people. You seem to be the Internet equivalent of that example.

          3. I’m not ashamed of anyone who’s retired. You clearly are though, as you attempt to use the status as an insult despite your disingenuous attempts to claim otherwise. As for your inane, insipid comment & yr deliberate attempt at insult instead of publishing substantive comments that deal with issues, you are moderated. Next stop is banning.

    2. You have friends in a Druze village & shop in one? Spare me the narishckeit. I love how right wing Israeli Jews trot out their “knowledge” of Palestinian or Druze culture by saying “I know one” or “I shop at one’s store” or “I went to high school with one.” This anecedotal evidence (if the claim is even true) always justifies sweeping generalization with no basis in fact. You’re basically claiming Druze aren’t poor because you live next to two (whatever that means). Preposterous.

    1. Idan, what does the Gadna have to do with the technological high-schools of the IAF ? absolutely nothing.
      In fact, the students of those schools do not participate in the Gadna’s activities.

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