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.
Top Pentagon official Michael Griffin sat down a few weeks ago with Air Force scientists at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to discuss the future of quantum computing in the U.S. military. Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, has listed quantum computers and related applications among the Pentagon's must-do R&D investments. Quantum computing is one area where the Pentagon worries that it is playing catchup while China continues to leap ahead. The technology is being developed for many civilian applications, and the military sees it as potentially game-changing for information and space warfare. The U.S. Air Force particularly is focused on what is known as quantum information science.
The Air Force is advancing plans to retire its Predator drone by transitioning pilots to the larger Reaper drone – and widening the mission scope of Reapers to include more weapons integration, attack options and ISR possibilities. The retirement and transition from the Predator to expanded Reaper use will finish by the end of this year, Air Force officials said. "The MQ-1 Predator paved the way through 24 years of service and adaptation leading to expanded capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper. The mission set doesn't change. The capabilities to fulfill those multi-role missions are expanded by the MQ-9 Reaper," Maj.
Britain's Prince William on Sunday praised "historic ties and friendship" with Jordan and the kingdom's commitment to Syrian and Palestinian refugees, as he began a historic five-day tour that also includes Israel and the Palestinian territories. Though billed as non-political, it's a high-profile visit for William, 36, second in line to the throne. He is meeting with young scientists, refugees and political leaders in a tumultuous region Britain controlled between the two world wars. In Jordan, the prince was hosted by Crown Prince Hussein, 23, a member of the Hashemite dynasty Britain helped install in then-Transjordan almost a century ago. The pair capped the day Sunday by watching England's World Cup match against Panama which the heir to the Jordanian throne had recorded earlier, Press Association said.
Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced Friday. The U.S. military said Thursday it had carried out an airstrike targeting a senior militant in northeastern Kunar, according to Reuters. A U.S. official told the news agency the target was believed to be Fazlullah. Four other senior Taliban militants were also killed in the strike, The New York Times reported. Fazlullah is considered one of the most-wanted Pakistan militants and is believed to be behind the attacks on Pakistani security officials and civilians.
KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan Defense Ministry official says a U.S. drone strike in northeastern Kunar province has killed Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah. Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish tells The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday that Fazlullah and two other insurgents were killed early Thursday morning. According to a statement attributed to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman, Lt. Col Martin O'Donnell, the U.S. carried out a "counterterrorism strike" Thursday near in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan targeting "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization." The statement did not say whether the strike had killed anyone and did not identify Fazlullah as the target. Radmanish said the attack took place in Marawara district, near the border.
WASHINGTON – One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members wounded in an "enemy attack" Friday in Somalia, the U.S. military said -- casualties that are likely to put renewed scrutiny on America's counterterror operations in Africa. It's the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death on the continent since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2.45 p.m. local time. One member of the "partner forces" was wounded. One of the wounded U.S. service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has found organic molecules on Mars, the space agency revealed in a major announcement Thursday During a press conference at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Goddard, Md., and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., scientists noted that the molecules provide fresh insight into the Red Planet. "We found organic molecules in rocks from an ancient lake bed," explained Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard. A variety of molecules were identified, she added. While NASA was at pains to explain that it has not discovered life on Mars, the organic molecules could provide vital clues. "Organic compounds are fundamental to our search for life," said Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at Goddard.
According to a new report, Google will not seek another contract for Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence to improve drone targeting. WASHINGTON -- Giving in to pressure from its workforce, Google recently announced that it is pulling out of Project Maven, a groundbreaking Pentagon program to harness artificial intelligence to sift through and interpret video imagery from drones. The move came after an uprising by 4,000 Google employees who signed a letter urging the company to cancel Project Maven and promise to never "build warfare technology." In their letter, the employees said that working with the Pentagon would violate Google's longtime motto "Don't Be Evil" and "irreparably damage Google's brand." Are they saying that the U.S. military is evil?
File photo - A Google carpet is seen at the entrance of the new headquarters of Google France before its official inauguration in Paris, France Dec. 6, 2011. Google will not seek another contract for Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence to improve drone targeting, according to Gizmodo. Citing three sources with knowledge of the matter, Gizmodo reports that Google will not seek another contract when the current Project Maven contract expires in 2019. The decision was announced by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene at a meeting with employees Friday morning, it said. Greene reportedly cited the backlash against Project Maven, adding that the firm plans to announce new ethical principles about AI next week.