In light of recent advances in performance–not to mention the history of computing–it’s reasonable to assume that artificial intelligence and machine learning systems will become smarter and faster. But government-funded research that is being put into practice at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) could achieve new levels of performance while also consuming minimal amounts of power.






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Department of Defense (DoD) officials have been framing Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the center of a “new space race,” citing its growing importance in military and geopolitical operations, the investments other countries such as China have been making in AI, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that whoever takes the lead in this field will be “ruler of the world.”






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The Defense Department (DoD) is leading the brain-computer interface charge within government, recently investing $65 million across six projects. Each of these projects will work to develop high-resolution neural interfaces and working systems that could help in sensory restoration, specifically in these projects with regard to sight and speech. The contractors–five research organizations and one private company–will work under the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program, which was launched in 2016 with the goal of developing an implantable neural interface able to deliver high-bandwidth data transfers between the brain and electronics systems.






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Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are getting awfully good at the Who, What, When, Where and even How for a variety of jobs, from military operations to financial transactions to medical diagnosis and treatment. But the Why is another story.






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Pandemic threats such as Ebola, Zika, and avian flu are not only a danger to public health, but are also viewed as potential national security threats, as the National Intelligence Council, an arm of the Director of National Intelligence, points out in its 2017 report, Global Trends: Paradox of Progress.






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For military analysts struggling to make proper use of millions of hours of full-motion video from drones, the cavalry will begin arriving this month, in the form of computer vision algorithms developed under the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Project Maven.






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