Artificial Intelligence

Why DARPA is investing billions in artificial intelligence technologies?

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US government agency for development of emerging technologies, is going to invest more than $2 billion in artificial intelligence (AI) as a part of AI Next campaign.

DARPA has played a significant role in creating and advancing the AI technologies to produce transformative capabilities for US Department of Defense (DoD).

This is the third-wave of AI technologies for DARPA which is aimed to address the limitations of first and second wave of AI technologies. The AI systems developed under first wave were fragile and limited. Whereas, the second wave AI technologies are dependent on substantial amounts of high quality training data, do not adapt to changing conditions and offer limited performance guarantees.

Under its AI Next Campaign, DARPA seeks to explore new theories and applications to make it possible for machines to adapt to changing situations.

Dr. Steven Walker, Agency director announced the multi-year investment plan during closing remarks at DARPA’s D60 Symposium conference at Maryland.

“With AI Next, we are making multiple research investments aimed at transforming computers from specialized tools to partners in problem-solving,” said Dr. Walker.

“Today, machines lack contextual reasoning capabilities, and their training must cover every eventuality, which is not only costly, but ultimately impossible. 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.”

As a part of AI Next, DARPA will explore a number of key areas such as automation of critical DoD business processes, and improvement of robustness and reliability of AI systems.

The key areas to be explored also include enhancing security and resiliency of machine learning and AI technologies, making the power, data and performance more efficient, as well as pioneering the next generation of AI algorithms and applications.

Currently, the firm is covering over 20 AI programs to push AI beyond second wave machine learning techniques towards contextual reasoning capabilities.

DARPA mentioned that around 60 active programs are applying AI in some capacity to allow agents collaborate and share electromagnetic spectrum bandwidth for detection of cyber vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, the firm will continue to work on its Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) program to establish the feasibility of new AI concepts.

Also read: Know why Microsoft is planning to invest $5 billion in IoT in next four years

“In today’s world of fast-paced technological advancement, we must work to expeditiously create and transition projects from idea to practice,” said Dr. Walker.

Image source: DARPA

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