Lyft exec will head the Pentagon’s AI efforts

Craig Martell, Head of Machine Learning at Lyft, is set to head the Pentagon’s AI efforts.

Breaking Defense first broke the news after learning Martell was destined to be named as the Pentagon’s new chief digital and AI officer.

Martell has significant AI industry experience – leading efforts at not just Lyft but also Dropbox and LinkedIn – but has no experience navigating public-sector bureaucracy. The Pentagon is going to be very much “in at the deep-end”...

World’s oldest defence think tank concludes British spies need AI

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) says in an intelligence report that British spies will need to use AI to counter threats.

Based in Westminster, the RUSI is the world’s oldest think tank on international defence and security. Founded in 1831 by the first Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley, the RUSI remains a highly respected institution that’s as relevant today as ever.

AI is rapidly advancing the capabilities of adversaries. In its report, the RUSI...

Palantir took over Project Maven defense contract after Google backed out

palantir google project maven backlash military ai drone uav

Surveillance firm Palantir took up a Pentagon defense contract known as Project Maven after Google dropped out due to backlash.

Project Maven is a Pentagon initiative aiming to use AI technologies for deploying and monitoring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Naturally, Google’s involvement with the initiative received plenty of backlash both internally and externally. At least a dozen employees quit Google while many others threatened to walk out if the firm continued...

US defense department outlines its AI strategy

Shortly after President Trump issued his vague AI executive order, the US Defense Department outlined a more comprehensive strategy.

"The impact of artificial intelligence will extend across the entire department, spanning from operations and training to recruiting and healthcare,” DoD CIO Dana Deasy said.

A 17-page document outlines how the DoD intends to advance its AI prowess with five key steps:

Delivering AI-enabled capabilities that address key...

Google funding ‘good’ AI may help some forget that military fiasco

Google has launched an initiative to fund ‘good’ AI which may help some forget about the questionable military contracts it was involved with. The new initiative, called AI for Social Good, is a joint effort between the company’s philanthropic subsidiary Google.org and its own experts. Kicking off the initiative is the ‘AI Impact Challenge’ which is set to provide $25 million in funding to non-profits while providing access to Google’s vast resources. As part of the initiative,...

DARPA introduces ‘third wave’ of artificial intelligence

The Pentagon is launching a new artificial intelligence push it calls ‘AI Next’ which aims to improve the relationship between machines and humans. As part of the multi-year initiative, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is set to invest more than $2bn in the programme. In promo material for the programme, DARPA says AI Next will accelerate “the Third Wave” which enables machines to adapt to changing situations. For instance, adaptive reasoning will enable...

Experts warn of AI disasters leading to research lockdown

Experts from around the world have warned of potential AI disasters that could lead to a subsequent lockdown of research. Andrew Moore, the new head of AI at Google Cloud, is one such expert who has warned of scenarios that would lead to public backlash and restrictions that would prevent AI from reaching its full potential. Back in November, Moore spoke at the Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Initiative. In his keynote, he said:

"If an AI disaster...

EFF offers guidance to militaries seeking AI implementation

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has released a whitepaper offering guidance on the implementation of military AI projects. AI being used for military purposes is a scary thought, but it’s ultimately inevitable. The best that can be hoped for is that it’s used in a sensible way that addresses people’s concerns. The publishing of the whitepaper arrives in the wake of Google employees resigning over the company’s defense contract to provide AI knowledge to the US...

Booz Allen secures $885m Pentagon defense AI contract

While many private companies are shying away from providing their AI expertise for defense purposes, Booz Allen has secured a $885M Pentagon contract. Under the contract, Booz Allen will help the Department of Defense and the intelligence community to “rapidly employ artificial intelligence, neural, and deep neural networks.” The company notes how today’s intelligence environment necessitates the US government maintains unprecedented amounts of Intelligence Surveillance...

DSTL will run Ministry of Defence’s AI research lab

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced the creation of an AI research lab based at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in Porton Down, as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Defence. The lab will focus on advancing the use of AI for defence purposes to ensure the UK remains able to counter evolving threats. Dstl currently delivers more than £20 million of AI research. Specific focuses of the new facility will include autonomous vehicles, countering fake...