Artificial intelligence (AI) is often praised for its ability to sort through data quickly, but one area in which AI platforms can struggle is data supply. The United States Defense Department (DOD) recently launched Project Maven in an effort to reduce the time to field of technology to just six months.
The DOD enlisted the assistance of industry experts with the aid of the Defense Information Unit Experimental, which was created with the intention of allowing the U.S. Military to field new technology at a significantly faster rate than would normally be feasible. With the improved conditions, tech sector players and academics have been more willing to offer guidance.
Traditionally, private and academic sector minds have veered away from government work because of its tendency to move slowly, often requiring years of time and multiple departments’ insight. The Defense Information Unit Experimental is able to cut through the red tape and aims to have Project Maven’s yield in the field within six months.
How is the DOD using AI?
One of the core focuses of Project Maven is drone footage analysis, a task which requires enormous amounts of manpower, but Wired reports that 99 percent of all drone footage goes unviewed. USA Today notes that the DOD collected more than 320,000 hours of footage, roughly enough time to eclipse 37 years.
One military force was able to collect more than 37 years worth, in hours, of footage in one year. Technology has come so far since then, with drones now producing terabytes of data daily. According to CNN, The U.S. has invested “tens of billions of dollars” in their fleet of more than 11,000 drones.
How are other countries exploring similar avenues?
China recently released its roadmap for utilizing AI in military and private-sector technology. The national framework cites an intent to become the “premier innovation center” for AI tech by 2030. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, stated that:
Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.
The U.S., Russia, China, and other countries are all taking a look at how they can apply the technology to affect the most impact.
What are other uses for this technology?
Innovative minds such as Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and SpaceX and Stephen Hawking have warned that AI should be developed with care, and approached as humanity can augment itself to adapt to the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, lest humanity be left behind in the dust. This is why Musk started NeuraLink, a company which is researching neural implants for human augmentation.
IARPA and the U.S. Government seem likely to apply this technology to other observation equipment such as satellites and military vehicles, two locations which would allow them to increase the usefulness of items which are currently in service and will be for the foreseeable future.
Artificial intelligence enables information to be sorted at astonishing rates, but the amount of information currently collected will enable AI, and world governments to monitor the activity, number of objects, and other facets of daily operations, both civilian and military.