As "great power competition" ramps up, signs of arms races in America's strategic relationships with both Russia and China are everywhere apparent. In this respect, Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 1 speech made a big splash in the press, but readers may not be aware of the late tests in May when the Russian Navy simultaneously test launched four new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). These missiles were designed no doubt for nuclear strikes on the American heartland. Likewise, China recently announced the tenth test of its new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), called the DF-41. Furthermore, this test was to be of a missile-defense evading hypersonic warhead with the same general purpose in mind.
On Monday, President Trump signed the the $717 billion annual National Defense Authorization Act, which was easily passed by Congress in weeks prior. Much attention has understandably been placed on big-ticket items like $7.6 billion for acquiring 77 F-35 fighters, $21.9 billion for the nuclear weapons program, and $1.56 billion for three littoral combat ships--despite the fact that the Navy requested only one in the budget. What has gotten less attention is how the bill cements artificial intelligence programs in the Defense Department and lays the groundwork for a new national-level policy and strategy in the form of an artificial intelligence commission. As artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are integrated into defense technology, spending on these technologies is only going to increase in years to come. While spending for many AI programs in the NDAA is in the tens of millions at present, one budget for a project that did not go through the normal appropriations process could have a total cost of $1.75 billion over the next seven years.
The stern of a US destroyer that was blown off the ship by a Japanese mine 75 years ago, killing 71, has been found off Alaska. The fragment of the USS Abner Read was found in the Bering Sea off the Aleutian island of Kiska, where it sank after being torn off by an explosion while conducting an anti-submarine patrol. The remaining crew managed to save the ship, which was repaired after the attack. On July 17, a NOAA-funded team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the University of Delaware discovered the missing 75- foot stern section in 290 feet of water off of Kiska, one of only two United States territories to be occupied by foreign forces in the last 200 years. After sonar mounted to the side of the research ship Norseman II identified a promising target, the team sent down a deep-diving, remotely operated vehicle to capture live video for confirmation.
But if companies and governments shy away from investing in and developing AI technologies, then they could face a worse fate: obsolesce, or even annihilation. At Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. on Tuesday, a panel of executives and leaders from GM, Intel, Slack, and the U.S. Navy discussed a coming wave of AI automation--and why neglecting this tech revolution could spell doom for laggards. Naveen Rao, who leads AI products at Intel, compared the situation to a dog-eat-dog, Darwinian model of the natural world. "AI recapitulates what happens in evolutionary systems," he said. Animals use their senses, brains, and bodies to acquire food and other necessities, Rao said.
China is developing large, smart and relatively low-cost unmanned submarines that can roam the world's oceans to perform a wide range of missions, from reconnaissance to mine placement to even suicide attacks against enemy vessels, according to scientists involved in these artificial intelligence (AI) projects. The autonomous robotic submarines are expected to be deployed in the early 2020s. While not intended to entirely replace human-operated submarines, they will challenge the advantageous position established by Western naval powers after the second world war. The robotic subs are aimed particularly at the United States forces in strategic waters like the South China Sea and western Pacific Ocean, the researchers said. The project is part of the government's ambitious plan to boost the country's naval power with AI technology.
The Pentagon is making a massive push to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence to ships, tanks, aircraft, drones, weapons and large networks as part of a sweeping strategy to more quickly harness and integrate the latest innovations. Many forms of AI are already well-underway with U.S. military combat systems, yet new technologies and applications are emerging so quickly that Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has directed the immediate creation of a new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. "The Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the DoD Chief Information Officer to standup the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center in order to enable teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD's military missions and business functions." DoD spokeswoman Heather Babb told Warrior Maven. Pentagon officials intend for the new effort to connect otherwise disparate AI developments across the services.
The Office of Naval Research has revealed plan to partner with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Naval Research Laboratory, and a number of universities to develop a new type of leg prostheses. Along with being more comfortable, these smart artificial limbs will help users prevent the threat of infection. The Monitoring OsseoIntegrated Prosthesis (MOIP) project hinges upon a titanium fixture that is surgically implanted into the recipient's femur. Bone is generated around the point where it's implanted, so only the small connection point juts out. An artificial limb can be connected or detached from this adapter at will.
I expected my summer engineering internship to include things like updating old 3-D models, creating part designs, and learning the ins and outs of how a company works. I didn't expect it to involve learning to make my colleagues obsolete. It was the summer after my sophomore year of college, at a company in Southern California. At the beginning of the internship, my manager asked me to implement 3-D printing to streamline a complicated mold-making process. I have long been obsessed with 3-D printing (I own two machines myself), so I was thrilled to introduce it into the business.
Artificial intelligence is reshaping the world we live in and opening opportunities in commercial and industrial systems applications that range from autonomous driving and medical diagnostics to home appliances, industrial automation, adaptive websites and financial analytics. Next up is the communications infrastructure that links systems together, moving toward automated self-repair and optimization. For example, the U.S. Navy plans to expand its Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) ocean combat network with AI, connecting ships, submarines and on-shore naval stations. These new architectures will perform functions such as load balancing and allocating resources for wireless channels and network ports based on predictions learned from experience. Applications they support demand high performance and, in many cases, low latency to respond to real-time changes in conditions and demands.