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US Army scientists create a formula for the perfect walking robot

New Scientist

The current generation of robots with legs are significantly less efficient than they could be, which means the future for such machines may be bright. Alexander Kott at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Maryland, and his colleagues have performed an assessment using the Heglund formula, which describes the power needed by an animal of a specific size to move at a given speed.


Artificial intelligence and war without humans

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It's a simple fact, says General John "Mike" Murray, we're going to have to learn to trust artificial intelligence in the battlefield. And that means, the rules governing human control over artificial intelligence might need to be relaxed. Speaking from Austin, Texas, at The Future Character of War and the Law of Armed Conflict online event, Murray provided a future battle scenario involving the rapid advance of artificial intelligence in the US military and the ethical challenges it presents. "If you think about things like a swarm of, let's say a hundred semi-autonomous or autonomous drones, some lethal, some sensing, some jamming, some in command and control -- think back to the closing ceremony of the Seoul Olympics. "Is it within a human's ability to pick out which ones have to be engaged and then make 100 individual engagement decisions against a drone swarm?" said Murray, Commander, Army Future Command (AFC). "And is it even necessary to have it a human in the loop, if you're talking about affects against an unmanned platform or against a machine.


US Army's new night vision technology makes fighting in darkness look like a video game

The Independent - Tech

The US Army's new'Enhanced Night Vision' technology makes fighting in darkness look like a video game for soldiers. The Lancer Brigade, a US military combat unit, posted video of the high-tech equipment, which shows people and objects outlined in a glowing white light, to its Twitter account last month. The Enhance Night Vision Goggle-Binoculars replaces the traditional green night vision experience to help soldiers see more effectively in low light. The Army says its new device uses white phosphor tubes instead of the traditional green phosphor, which it says offers troops better contrast to see enemies, equipment and weapons. The new goggles include a set of binoculars and an augmented reality system and soldiers will also be able to use them to look through the scope of a weapon remotely.


Army researchers create pioneering approach to real-time conversational AI

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Spoken dialogue is the most natural way for people to interact with complex autonomous agents such as robots. Future Army operational environments will require technology that allows artificial intelligent agents to understand and carry out commands and interact with them as teammates. Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory and the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, a Department of Defense-sponsored University Affiliated Research Center, created an approach to flexibly interpret and respond to Soldier intent derived from spoken dialogue with autonomous systems. This technology is currently the primary component for dialogue processing for the lab's Joint Understanding and Dialogue Interface, or JUDI, system, a prototype that enables bi-directional conversational interactions between Soldiers and autonomous systems. "We employed a statistical classification technique for enabling conversational AI using state-of-the-art natural language understanding and dialogue management technologies," said Army researcher Dr. Felix Gervits.


US army develops new tool to detect deepfakes threatening national security

The Independent - Tech

US Army scientists have developed a novel tool that can help soldiers detect deepfakes that pose threat to national security. The advance could lead to a mobile software that warns people when fake videos are played on the phone. Deepfakes are hyper-realistic video content made using artificial intelligence tools that falsely depicts individuals saying or doing something, explained Suya You and Shuowen (Sean) Hu from the Army Research Laboratory in the US. The growing number of these fake videos in circulation can be harmful to society – from the creation of non-consensual explicit content to doctored media by foreign adversaries that are used in disinformation campaigns. According to the scientists, while there were close to 8,000 of these deepfake video clips online at the beginning of 2019, in just about nine months, this number nearly doubled to about 15,000.


Army Researchers Create Pioneering Approach to Real-Time Conversational AI - ELE Times

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Spoken dialogue is the most natural way for people to interact with complex autonomous agents such as robots. Future Army operational environments will require technology that allows artificial intelligent agents to understand and carry out commands and interact with them as teammates. Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory and the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, a Department of Defense-sponsored University Affiliated Research Center, created an approach to flexibly interpret and respond to Soldier intent derived from spoken dialogue with autonomous systems. This technology is currently the primary component for dialogue processing for the lab's Joint Understanding and Dialogue Interface, or JUDI, system, a prototype that enables bi-directional conversational interactions between Soldiers and autonomous systems. "We employed a statistical classification technique for enabling conversational AI using state-of-the-art natural language understanding and dialogue management technologies," said Army researcher Dr. Felix Gervits. "The statistical language classifier enables autonomous systems to interpret the intent of a Soldier by recognizing the purpose of the communication and performing actions to realize the underlying intent."


Boston Dynamics' Spot robot tested in combat training with the French army

Engadget

Boston Dynamics robotic dog Spot was one of several robots tested by the French army during training sessions at a military school in the northwest of France, The Verge and France Ouest have reported. It was used during a two-day training session with the aim of "measuring the added value of robots in combat action," said school commandant Jean-Baptiste Cavalier. The exercises aimed to get students thinking about how robots might be deployed in future combat situations. The students designed three offensive and defensive missions, with Spot used primarily for reconnaissance. The scenarios were performed by students first without and then with the aid of the robots. Other bots deployed were a remote-controlled tank-like vehicle called OPTIO-X20 armed with a cannon and Barakuda, an armor-plated wheeled drone designed to provide cover to advancing soldiers.


Project Force: AI and the military – a friend or foe?

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Artificial Intelligence is already part of our lives, and as the technology matures it will play a key role in future wars. The accuracy and precision of today's weapons are steadily forcing contemporary battlefields to empty of human combatants. As more and more sensors fill the battlespace, sending vast amounts of data back to analysts, humans struggle to make sense of the mountain of information gathered. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in – learning algorithms that thrive off big data; in fact, the more data these systems analyse, the more accurate they can be. In short, AI is the ability for a system to "think" in a limited way, working specifically on problems normally associated with human intelligence, such as pattern and speech recognition, translation and decision-making.


Discussion on AI Geopolitical Strategy

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My first loves were international relations, economics and politics. I grew up around cigar smoking patriarchs that talked at length about the US, Russia, China and all the innovations, wars, conflicts and progress in between. I marveled at our global world and I was fascinated by where influence originated and what it could do. I was frightened by the scale of the world's superpowers and the myriad ways they affect the lives of innocent people all over the world. Nothing much has changed since those early days.


Opinion: Artificial Intelligence's Military Risks, Potential

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Former Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf II, of Little Compton, lays out the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party in his recent book, "The Great Nightfall." With the emerging priority of artificial intelligence (AI), China is shifting away from a strategy of neutralizing or destroying an enemy's conventional military assets -- its planes, ships and army units. AI strategy is now evolving into dominating what are termed adversaries' "systems-of-systems" -- the combinations of all their intelligence and conventional military assets. What China would attempt first is to disable all of its adversaries' information networks that bind their military systems and assets. It would destroy individual elements of these now-disaggregated forces, probably with missiles and naval strikes.