Palantir took over Project Maven defense contract after Google backed out

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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...

Pentagon is ‘falling behind’ in military AI, claims former NSWC chief

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The former head of US Naval Special Warfield Command (NSWC) has warned the Pentagon is falling behind adversaries in military AI developments.

Speaking on Tuesday, Rear Adm. Brian Losey said AI is able to provide tactical guidance as well as anticipate enemy actions and mitigate threats. Adversaries with such technology will have a significant advantage.

Losey is retired from the military but is now a partner at San Diego-based Shield AI.

Shield AI specialises...

EU AI Expert Group: Ethical risks are ‘unimaginable’

The EU Commission’s AI expert group has published its assessment of the rapidly-advancing technology and warned it has “unimaginable” ethical risks.

Some of the highlighted risks includes lethal autonomous systems, tracking individuals, and ‘scoring’ people in society.

On the subject of lethal autonomous systems, the experts warn machines with cognitive skills could “decide whom, when and where to fight without human intervention”.

When it comes...

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...

Chinese university recruits ‘patriotic’ students to build AI weapons

A university in China has recruited 27 boys and four girls to become the world’s youngest AI weapons scientists. All of the students are under 18 and were picked from a list of 5,000 candidates by the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). Beyond academic prowess, the BIT sought other qualities in the candidates. "We are looking for qualities such as creative thinking, willingness to fight, a persistence when facing challenges," a BIT professor told the South China Morning Post. The...

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 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...

Britain successfully trials AI in battlefield scanning experiment

Britain has successfully trialled using AI to scan for hidden attackers in a mock urban battlefield environment in Montreal, Canada. The AI, called SAPIENT, was developed in the UK with the aim of using sensors to detect potential unseen dangers to soldiers. SAPIENT is more efficient than manually scanning live feeds and frees up more soldiers to be used for operational means elsewhere. Canada and the UK maintain a close security partnership as part of the so-called ‘Five Eyes’...

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...