The U.S. military is investing $2 billion to develop a new generation of artificial intelligence with “human-like” communication skills, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Pentagon’s research wing, announced in a release on Friday, September 7.
DARPA will use the money to fund around 20 existing and new projects that will push for a new level of machine learning. Director Steven Walker said the agency was making multiple research investments “aimed at transforming computers from specialized tools to partners in problem-solving.”
“Today, machines lack contextual reasoning capabilities, and their training must cover every eventuality, which is not only costly, but ultimately impossible,” he explained. “We want to explore how machines can acquire human-like communication and reasoning capabilities, with the ability to recognize new situations and environments and adapt to them.”
Today at D60, Dr. Steve Walker announced a $2B campaign to develop the third wave of #AI technologies. The "AI Next" initiative will focus on contextual reasoning to create more trusting, collaborative partnerships between humans & machines. https://t.co/JJzCJQnxhv #DARPA60 pic.twitter.com/CSJd1Q25Zt
— DARPA (@DARPA) September 7, 2018
The current generation of smart machines and robots cannot be easily updated when a new technology appears, and researchers want them to learn to update themselves, according to Walker.
Under the AI Next campaign, the agency may explore automating “critical” Defense Department business processes, such as security clearance vetting in a week or accrediting software systems in one day for operational deployment, the release said. Other areas of interest include improving the reliability of AI systems, enhancing the security and efficiency of AI technologies, and pioneering the next generation of AI algorithms.
Most of DARPA’s research, which is entirely funded by the Pentagon, is focused on technologies that can be used in combat, such as drones that are becoming ever more autonomous.
With reporting from AFP