Or is it a remotely operated quadrotor conducting surveillance or preparing to drop a deadly payload? Human observers won't have to guess--or keep their eyes glued to computer monitors--now that there's superhuman artificial intelligence capable of distinguishing drones from those other flying objects. Automated watchfulness, thanks to machine learning, has given police and other agencies tasked with maintaining security an important countermeasure to help them keep pace with swarms of new drones taking to the skies. The security challenge has only grown over the past few years: Millions of people have bought consumer drones and sometimes flown them into off limits areas where they pose a hazard to crowds on the ground or larger aircraft in the sky. Off-the-shelf drones have also become affordable and dangerous weapons for the Islamic State and other militant groups in war-torn regions such as Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon has revealed a new AI system designed to lead the hunt for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Codenamed Project Maven, it will analyse aerial surveillance video to look for patterns that can help operators. It comes as military bosses say the thousands of military and civilian intelligence analysts are'overwhelmed' by the amount of video being recorded over the battlefield by drones with high resolution cameras. A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle: Military bosses say intelligence analysts are'overwhelmed' by the amount of video being recorded over the battlefield by drones with high resolution cameras. 'We have to tackle the problem a different way,' Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T.'Jack' Shanahan, director for defense intelligence for warfighter support, and the man tasked with finding the new technology, told Defense One.