The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is in the process of spinning up a new research program to develop ways to teach machines to learn while they are operating -- and apply their knowledge to new situations "the way biological systems do." The agency is now accepting research proposals for the program's first funding opportunity via a Broad Agency Announcement, published last week. Dubbed the Lifelong Learning Machines program or L2M, DARPA plans through the four-year program to fund the development of "substantially more capable systems that are continually improving and updating from experience." Artificial intelligence systems today can't adapt to situations for which they were not already trained or programmed, as DARPA notes in its Broad Agency Announcement released last week. And so applying AI systems for military uses in areas like "supply chain, logistics and visual recognition" is difficult to do today, because many of those applications involve details that aren't defined in advance, according to DARPA.
As government agencies are beginning to turn over security to automated systems that can teach themselves, the idea that hackers can sneakily influence those systems is becoming the latest (and perhaps the greatest) new concern for cybersecurity professionals. Adversarial machine learning is a research field that "lies at the intersection of machine learning and computer security," according to Wikipedia. "It aims to enable the safe adoption of machine-learning techniques in adversarial settings like spam filtering, malware detection and biometric recognition." According to Nicolas Papernot, Google PhD Fellow in Security at Pennsylvania State University, AML seeks to better understand the behavior of machine-learning algorithms once they are deployed in adversarial settings -- that is, "any setting where the adversary has an incentive, may it be financial or of some other nature, to force the machine-learning algorithms to misbehave." "Unfortunately, current machine-learning models have a large attack surface as they were designed and trained to have good average performance, but not necessarily worst-case performance, which is typically what is sought after from a security perspective," Papernot said.
The Navy wants soldiers who can concentrate better and learn faster, and it's looking at a controversial piece of tech to do that: transcranial electrical stimulation. It has been testing a passive brain-stimulating device from Halo Neuroscience with "a small group of volunteers" from Seal Team Six, the group that killed Osama Bin Laden, and other units, according to Military.com. "Early results show promising signs," said spokesman Capt. The $749 Halo Neuroscience headset (below) looks a lot like regular headphones, and does actually play music. However, it also has silicon spikes on the band called "neuroprimers" that contact a wearer's head.
Fingerspitzengefühl is a German word used to describe an ability to maintain attention to detail in an ever-changing operational and tactical environment by maintaining real-time situational awareness. The term is synonymous with the English expression of "keeping one's finger on the pulse." The problem with traditional fingerspitzengefühl, in addition to pronouncing it, is it is hard to scale. Today, however, in a world of sensors, GPS and mobile devices, having real-time situational awareness is far easier than ever before. In fact, today the challenge is not how to do it (answer: sensors), but what to do with all the information.
A new report authored by a group of independent US scientists advising the US Dept. of Defense (DoD) on artificial intelligence (AI) claims that perceived existential threats to humanity posed by the technology, such as drones seen by the public as killer robots, are at best "uninformed". Still, the scientists acknowledge that AI will be integral to most future DoD systems and platforms, but AI that could act like a human "is at most a small part of AI's relevance to the DoD mission". Instead, a key application area of AI for the DoD is in augmenting human performance. Perspectives on Research in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence Relevant to DoD, first reported by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists, has been researched and written by scientists belonging to JASON, the historically secretive organization that counsels the US government on scientific matters. Outlining the potential use cases of AI for the DoD, the JASON scientists make sure to point out that the growing public suspicion of AI is "not always based on fact", especially when it comes to military technologies.
Debrief tool used in the experiment displays a video replay of the operator console (similar to this map display), and a timeline of events suggested by AEMASE for discussion during debrief. The tool also includes visualizations of entity movement over time. Navy pilots and other flight specialists soon will have a new "smart machine" installed in training simulators that learns from expert instructors to more efficiently train their students. Sandia National Laboratories' Automated Expert Modeling & Student Evaluation (AEMASE, pronounced "amaze") is being provided to the Navy as a component of flight simulators. Components are now being used to train Navy personnel to fly H-60 helicopters and a complete system will soon be delivered for training on the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, said Robert G. Abbott, a Sandia computer scientist and AEMASE's inventor.
It is every Top Gun's worst nightmare - an AI can can outmanoeuvre them in the air. Now researchers have tested their AI on a retired top gun - and left him stunned. Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee took on the AI in a simulator - and lost. An AI has beated Air Force pilots in simulated showdowns for the first time. Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee took on the AI in a simulator.
This article originally appeared in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Summer 2015). We thank the American Economic Association for giving us permission to reproduce it here. About half a billion years ago, life on earth experienced a short period of very rapid diversification called the "Cambrian Explosion." Many theories have been proposed for the cause of the Cambrian Explosion, with one of the most provocative being the evolution of vision, which allowed animals to dramatically increase their ability to hunt and find mates (for discussion, see Parker 2003). Today, technological developments on several fronts are fomenting a similar explosion in the diversification and applicability of robotics.
Researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center in California have used computer models to create an animation of the air flow around a quadcopter drone. They developed the animation for the DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter - a battery-powered drone with four rotors. For years, NASA has used similar computer models to simulate the flow of air around aircraft to improve the performance of the vehicles of the future. The phantom drone relies on four rotors to generate enough thrust to lift it up into the air. The animation revealed the complex movements of the air caused by the interaction of the drones rotors and its X-shaped frame.
There is no shortage of attention lately on the "Internet of Things". As a case in point, see the "Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act" or "DIGIT Act", i.e., S. 2607, a bill introduced in the Senate on March 1, 2016 and amended on September 28, 2016, "to ensure appropriate spectrum planning and inter-agency coordination to support the Internet of Things" – A companion bill, H.R. 5117, was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 28, 2016. However, since there is no "internet" dedicated to "things", it is fair to state that the Internet of Things does not exist as such. We are left with a definitional vacuum, but it is hammering the obvious to acknowledge that there is no dearth of attempts around the world to fill the gap. Perhaps as a helpful shortcut, we could view the expression as a metaphor that captures the arrival of almost anything and everything, until now out of scope, into the communications space.