Artificial intelligence is the new oil, and the governments or the countries that get the best datasets will unquestionably develop the best AI, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center's chief technology officer said Oct. 15. Speaking on a panel about AI superpowers at the Politico AI Summit, Nand Mulchandani said AI is a very large technology and industry. "It's not a single, monolithic technology," he said. "It's a collection of algorithms, technologies, etc., all cobbled together to call AI." The United States has access to global datasets, and that's why global partnerships are so incredibly important, he said, noting the Defense Department launched the AI partnership for defense at the JAIC recently to have access to global datasets with partners, which gives DOD a natural advantage in building these systems at scale.
U.S. Soldiers, assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, scan sectors of fire during the AH-64 Apache helicopter gunnery training in Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, July 15, 2020. The gunnery training concluded with the squadron's table VIII and IX live-fire certifications. LaShic Patterson) For future battlefield operations, speed is the name of the game. The side that can make decisions faster has the advantage.A new, AI-enabled effort by the U.S. Army can give operators the ability to detect, identify, process and engage targets quicker than ever and at longer ranges than before. The Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, or TITAN, offers frontline forces, as well as headquarter commanders, a resilient tactical ground station capable of rapidly sifting through massive amounts of incoming sensor data to find and track potential threats.
With the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the aim is to make every soldier, regardless of job specialty, capable of identifying and knocking down threatening drones. While much of that mission used to reside mostly in the air defense community, those attacks can strike any infantry squad or tank battalion. The goal is to reduce cognitive burden and operator stress when dealing with an array of aerial threats that now plague units of any size, in any theater. "Everyone is counter-UAS," said Col. Marc Pelini, division chief for capabilities and requirements at the Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or JCO. Army units aren't ready to defeat aerial drones, the study shows.
Last month, an artificial intelligence agent defeated human F-16 pilots in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency challenge, reigniting discussions about lethal AI and whether it can be trusted. Allies, non-government organizations, and even the U.S. Defense Department have weighed in on whether AI systems can be trusted. But why is the U.S. military worried about trusting algorithms when it does not even trust its AI developers? Any organization's adoption of AI and machine learning requires three technical tools: usable digital data that machine learning algorithms learn from, computational capabilities to power the learning process, and the development environment that engineers use to code. However, the military's precious few uniformed data scientists, machine learning engineers, and data engineers who create AI-enabled applications are currently hamstrung by a lack of access to these tools.
While the U.S. has lacked central organizing of its AI, it has an advantage in its flexible tech industry, said Nand Mulchandani, the acting director of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. Mulchandani is skeptical of China's efforts at "civil-military fusion," saying that governments are rarely able to direct early stage technology development. Tensions over how to accelerate AI are driven by the prospect of a tech cold war between the U.S. and China, amid improving Chinese innovation and access to both capital and top foreign researchers. "They've learned by studying our playbook," said Elsa B. Kania of the Center for a New American Security. "Many commentators in Washington and Beijing have accepted the fact that we are in a new type of Cold War," said Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, deputy secretary general of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is leading efforts to develop global AI cooperation.
The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) is the Department of Defense's lead organization for accelerating the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across the services. And it's a critical role, as top leaders believe AI will eventually impact every warfighting domain, even every mission, the DOD undertakes. With NPS faculty and students currently teaching and researching varied AI concepts and applications, and translating them into future naval capabilities, the university is deeply embedded in advancing the technology and the DOD's AI workforce. With this role in mind, NPS hosted two of the JAIC's most senior leaders, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan, the inaugural and former Director, and Nand Mulchandani, the current Chief Technology Officer, to speak to students, faculty and staff about their experiences organizing efforts to develop artificial intelligence (AI) projects on a DOD scale during NPS' latest virtual Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL), held Oct. 13. Shanahan and Mulchandani are the latest high-profile leaders to participate in the virtual SGL series, following the likes of retired Adm. Mike Mullen, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander and retired Navy Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, and retired Adm. William McRaven.
Two menacing men stand next to a white van in a field, holding remote controls. They open the van's back doors, and the whining sound of quadcopter drones crescendos. They flip a switch, and the drones swarm out like bats from a cave. In a few seconds, we cut to a college classroom. The students scream in terror, trapped inside, as the drones attack with deadly force. The lesson that the film, Slaughterbots, is trying to impart is clear: tiny killer robots are either here or a small technological advance away. And existing defences are weak or nonexistent.
A "mechanized infantry division" in the military may take on an entirely different meaning in the future. The idea of enhanced technology being integrated into body armor to produce super soldiers is not a new concept, but a new project launched by the U.S. Air Force could take things to a whole new level. The military branch has given a contract to a robotics firm specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and which is designed to lead to the introduction of "dexterous robotic systems." Sarcos Defense, a subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics, was awarded the contract. The parent company is dedicated to the development of advanced robotics and electro-mechanical systems.
Developing a national strategy for artificial intelligence, including its ethical aspects, is critical for Israel's future security, a study published last week by the Institute for National Security Studies argued. "Proper management of the field of artificial intelligence in Israel holds great potential for preserving and improving national security," wrote Dr. Liran Antebi, an INSS research fellow, in the Hebrew-language study, which was prepared with assistance from experts in the high-tech industry, the defense establishment, the government and academia. Titled "Artificial intelligence and Israeli national security," the study starts from the assumption that AI will eventually be of decisive importance worldwide in terms of both economics and security, especially if predictions that AI's capabilities will someday exceed human ones prove accurate. "Artificial intelligence will create a new industrial revolution of the greatest scope in history," Antebi wrote. And this will naturally widen the gaps between countries with high technological capabilities and those that are left behind. One example is autonomous weapons systems like robots and drones that are capable of searching for, identifying and attacking targets independently, with almost no human involvement.
Parsons Corporation was awarded the SharkSeer 2.0 task order under the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) Systems Engineering, Technology, and Innovation (SETI) contract. The firm-fixed price contract includes one base year and four option years, which, if exercised, will provide for a total potential value of $28 million. According to contracting officials, SharkSeer 2.0 is a new requirement for DISA and will aim to enhance the program's original operational capability with revamped architecture and new task requirements. The effort is intended to support an enterprise boundary defense system that uses artificial intelligence to identify and mitigate zero-day cyber attacks and advanced persistent threats to protect Department of Defense (DoD) networks. The company claims that Parsons scope for the base year and the options years, if exercised, will include migration, integration, testing, operations and maintenance, streamlining, optimization, enhancement, and simplification of all SharkSeer functionalities across seven operational boundaries.