Israel used secretive AI program called ‘Lavender’ to identify thousands of bombing targets: report – New York Post

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The Israeli military allegedly used a secretive AI program called “Lavender” to identify thousands of bombing targets in Gaza — despite the tech having a 10% error rate, according to an explosive new report.

The mass surveillance system identified 37,000 potential terrorists at its peak, but the kill list included a large number of low-level alleged Hamas operatives who would not typically be the primary focus of bombing missions, an investigation by Israel-based publications +972 Magazine and Local Call claimed.

The program also received scant human review, six intelligence officials who served during the war with Hamas and were involved in the secretive program told the publications.

The Israeli military used an artificial intelligence program called “Lavender” to help identify bombing targets in Gaza. AFP via Getty Images

Two sources also told +972 Magazine that the IDF accepted the so-called “collateral damage” of the tech, with as many as 20 civilians killed for each junior operative found by “Lavender.”

At one point, over 100 civilians were allegedly killed in the hunt for a single senior Hamas official, intelligence sources said.

“We had a calculation for how many [civilians could be killed] for the brigade commander, how many [civilians] for a battalion commander, and so on,” a source told the outlets.

“There were regulations, but they were just very lenient,” another source added. “We’ve killed people with collateral damage in the high double digits, if not low triple digits. These are things that haven’t happened before.”  

The Israeli military has strongly denied the explosive claims.

“The IDF outright rejects the claim regarding any policy to kill tens of thousands of people in their homes,” the IDF told the Guardian in a statement.

It said  “Lavender” is “simply a database whose purpose is to cross-reference intelligence sources in order to produce up-to-date layers of information on the military operatives of terrorist organizations.

“This is not a list of confirmed military operatives eligible to attack,” the statement asserted.

“For each target, IDF procedures require conducting an individual assessment of the anticipated military advantage and collateral damage expected.”

Human officers are responsible for verifying “that the identified targets meet the relevant definitions in accordance with international law and additional restrictions stipulated in the IDF directives,” the IDF said.

US national security spokesman John Kirby told CNN on Thursday that the White House was looking into the report, which he said the US had not yet verified.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict in the past six months.

According to UN data, in the first month of the war alone, 1,340 families suffered multiple losses, with 312 families losing more than 10 members.

With Post wires

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