soldiers (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

ARL taps universities for battlefield AI research

To boost the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield, the Army Research Lab has awarded $72 million to a consortium of universities for fundamental research on advanced algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence.

Carnegie Mellon University will lead the effort that aims to develop robust operational AI solutions for autonomous processing, exploitation and dissemination of intelligence and supporting the increased integration of autonomy and robotics as part of highly effective human-machine teams.

For the Army, advances in AI will enable autonomous maneuvers and facilitate human-AI teams that can rapidly respond to dynamic adversarial events. The research will also support adversarial learning to defeat the enemy's AI, autonomous networking that adapts to electromagnetic or cyber events and analytics that deliver situational awareness even with uncertain or conflicting data. By leveraging the technology for decision-making, the Army can optimize operations, increase readiness and reduce casualties.

"The changing complexity of future conflict will present never-seen-before situations wrought with noisy, incomplete and deceptive tactics designed to defeat AI algorithms," said Andrew Ladas, who leads ARL's Army Artificial Intelligence Innovation Institute. "Success in this battlefield intelligence race will be achieved by increasing AI capabilities as well as uncovering unique and effective ways to merge AI with soldier knowledge and intelligence."

The agreement for fundamental research is the result of an initial collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and ARL under ARL's Open Campus Initiative, which allows university researchers to work side-by-side with ARL scientists on projects.

"Tackling difficult science and technology challenges is rarely done alone and there is no greater challenge facing the Army than artificial intelligence," said ARL Director Philip Perconti. "That's why ARL is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University [and] …  looking forward to making great advances in AI research to ensure readiness today and to enhance the Army's modernization priorities for the future."

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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