DSTL will run Ministry of Defence’s AI research lab

DSTL will run Ministry of Defence’s AI research lab
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

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 news, and the development of enhanced computer network defences.

Williamson made the announcement during the first meeting of the joint UK-US Defence Innovation Board.

At the meeting, Williamson said:

“The relationship we have with our American partners is indispensable to both our nations. In the face of evolving global threats, we must harness new technologies and approaches to stay ahead of our adversaries and keep us safe.

Today’s meeting of military and scientific minds from both sides of the Atlantic encourages our best and brightest to develop new capabilities in everything from artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, to advanced cyber and robotics.”

The team of American experts includes notable figures such as: Dr Eric E. Schmidt, former chair of Google Inc; Dr. J. Michael McQuade Ph.D, Senior Vice President for Science and Technology at United Technologies; and Sally Donnelly, former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense.

Following the meeting, a reciprocal team from the UK Defence Innovation Board will visit the US later this year to develop joint recommendations based on the needs of the MoD and its American partners.

What are your thoughts on the defence AI research lab? Let us know in the comments.

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