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Artificial Intelligence – Moving Forward

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By Debbie Gregory.

Modern artificial intelligence (AI) has proven that at times, it works better than the human brain. There is no denying the fact that artificial intelligence is the future. From the security forces to the military applications, AI has spread out its wings to encompass our daily lives as well. However, AI comes with its own limitations. The biggest area where AI is challenged is explaining to humans is the how and why of the decision making, limited by the machine’s current inability to explain their actions to human users.

Developing Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) is of interest to commercial users of AI, as well as to the military. Explanations of how algorithms are thinking make it easier for leaders to adopt artificial intelligence systems within their organizations

XAI, especially explainable machine learning, will be essential if future warfighters are to understand, appropriately trust, and effectively manage an emerging generation of artificially intelligent machine partners.

Last month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) engaged 10 research teams in multimillion-dollar program designed to develop new XAI systems.

XAI program will incorporate new explanation techniques with the results produced by the machine in order to create more explainable models and results.

Processes such as architectural layers, design data, loss functions and optimization techniques are used to experiment and develop interpretable models of the AI machines.

Model induction would also take place to treat the machine processes like a black box and experiment with it to develop a better understanding of its processes.

“Each year, we’ll have a major evaluation where we’ll bring in groups of users who will sit down with these systems,” says David Gunning, program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.

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DARPA’s ICARUS Program Aims for Vampire Drones

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By Debbie Gregory.

Drones can drop supplies to hidden Special Forces or essential medical kit in warzones, but there’s the risk that their presence may give away the recipient’s location, or that the technology ends up in enemy hands.

To avoid that scenario, the U.S. military now wants to create a futuristic drone, capable of physically vanishing after completing its mission.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) want to answer the logistical and strategic problems involved in trying to bring drones and other supply vehicles back to base during battle or on covert operations.

The aim is to come up with a drone that can drop deliveries to personnel in hard-to-reach regions without it needing clearing away and hiding, which can be time consuming. In some circumstances, operational security mandates that no supply vehicles are to be left behind following a mission, thus creating something of a catch-22 when troops in the field are in dire need of supplies.

DARPA states that currently, those missions require the use of large, parachute-based delivery systems that must be packed-out after receipt of the payload both for operational security and environmental concerns

The program, called Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems, (ICARUS) has a budget of $8 million. The program is hoping to come up with a drone no larger than ten feet in length, with a range of approximately 90 miles, and the ability to drop a package weighing less than three pounds onto a target measuring no more than 33 feet. Darpa says the goal of Icarus is to design, prototype, and demonstrate an autonomous, guided, precision, vanishing air delivery vehicle.

DARPA admits that it sounds like an engineering fantasy, or maybe an episode from Mission Impossible. But while the millennia-old Icarus story ends badly when the protagonist soars on wings of feather and wax, too close to the sun, and then drowns in the ocean as his wings disintegrate, DARPA’s ICARUS aims for a more uplifting ending.

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Military Connection: DARPA Keeps US Military at the Forefront of Technology.

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been busy. Self-steering bullets, designed by DARPA, passed testing earlier this year, and actually adjusted their trajectories to hit moving targets in difficult environments, and from long distances.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) has specially designed ammo that features sensors and a real-time optical guidance system. This will help military snipers hit their targets, despite unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain.

Additionally, tomorrow, June 5th, the final round of the DARPA Robotic Challenge will be held in Pomona, California. The competition features 25 human/robot team of challengers, each trying to complete a simulated disaster-response course in the shortest amount of time.

Each robot will only have a maximum of one hour, under its own battery power, to drive 100 meters, get out of the car, open a door in a building, close a valve, use a tool to cut a hole in a wall, perform a surprise task, negotiate difficult terrain, exit the building and climb stairs to finish. Should the robot fall down, it must get back up without help of any kind.

The competition isn’t all fun and games, with the world’s top robotics organizations participating. The critical goal is to improve how people and robots work together when they’re separated by a significant physical distance, and the communication link between them is severely degraded.

“The Fukushima disaster, caused by the earthquake and the tsunami and then the meltdown at the power plant, was a great inspiration for us,” said DARPA Program Manager Dr. Gill Pratt. “We don’t know what the next disaster is going to be but we know that we have to develop technology to help us address these kinds of disasters,” he said.

To those who observe the robots, they may seem to move slowly. But the tasks they accomplish represent some of the hardest tests of robot software and hardware ever attempted.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Military Connection: DARPA Keeps US Military at the Forefront of Technology.: by Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Boeing to Develop Plasma “Force Field”

 

Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zIiOmJVfHU#t=29

By Debbie Gregory.

Over the course of our technological progression, many tangible products have developed from concepts that were once just fantastical dreams. Previously, these ideas could only be found in the pages of books and in the make believe universes created for the big and small screens. Objects such as submarines, cell phones, airplanes, robots, computers, tablets, and video chatting are just a few examples of science fiction that became reality. Soon, we could be able to add “force fields” to the list.

In March, 2015, Boeing was granted a patent for a defense system that functions much like a plasma force field, which, for now, is just fantasy. But instead of being equipped on a space craft to deflect proton projectiles or other space weaponry, Boeing intends that this system will be mounted on ground vehicles or on high-value buildings.

Boeing’s system, which hasn’t been built yet, is not intended to defend against direct hits from missiles, bombs or bullets. It also won’t offer protection from the shrapnel flung by the explosive impacts caused by those weapons. Instead, the Boeing system will protect the high value unit or building from the shock waves caused by nearby explosions.

The system will include a sensor designed to detect incidents that produce shock waves, such as an explosion. When the sensor detects a shock wave, it will determine the appropriate direction and strength needed to protect the asset it is defending. Boeing intends to use a combination of lasers, electricity and microwaves to rapidly heat up the air between the asset and any nearby explosion. The heat will create a plasma shield that will be able to absorb or deflect the energy from the incoming shock wave. The plasma shield will not permanently surround the protected asset, but will only materialize for short durations after the sensor detects an event.

Boeing filed for the patent in 2012. The United Kingdom’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), which operates much like our DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), announced that they were working on a similar shield system in 2010. There is no timeline for the completion or active testing for any of these systems.

Only time will tell what other technological advances will be added to our world. The future is closer than we think, as reality is constantly changed by concepts once found only in the imagination.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site!

Military Connection: Boeing to Develop Plasma “Force Field” by Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: DOD Wants New Night Vision Goggles: By Debbie Gregory

night visionIn our ever changing world, the U.S. military has managed to maintain its status as a global leader in innovating and perfecting new technologies. For years, this innovation was referred to as “American know-how” and was a prime reason why the U.S. was on the winning side of two world wars.

As a continuation of this history of innovation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently seeking proposals for the “Next Generation Tactical Wearable Night Vision.” DARPA, the agency of the Department of Defense responsible for developing new technologies, is interested in developing night vision technology that is lighter than current goggles and monocles, while offering wearers more use of the infrared spectrum. DARPA is also looking for the capability of digitally sharing the wearer’s view with other unit members and command/control centers.

The night vision gear currently issued to the U.S. military uses technology that is essentially decades old. DARPA believes that newer technology is available to develop night vision gear that will allow users to see better at night, with less strain on their necks. While the current gear is not exceptionally heavy, there has been a link established between neck strains, pinched nerves and other injuries from prolonged use of current night vision goggles and monocles.

DARPA is requesting gear that offers 20/20 vision “at clear starlight” and weighs less than current gear, all the while keeping existing durability standards.  The new system will also have to function for a minimum of 24 hours on a full charge, be able to switch in and out of night vision mode instantaneously, and have the ability to stream video.

DARPA wants the “Next Generation Tactical Wearable Night Vision” to possess the capability to “support interface with tactical computing elements and communication systems, to include the transmission of sound and video to other team members.” Equipping personnel in the field with night vision of this caliber would provide better intelligence. Ideally, DARPA would want the night vision gear to interface with nearly-universal devices such as smartphones or tablets.

The period for open submissions for “Next Generation Tactical Wearable Night Vision” will end on October 22, 2014.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: DOD Wants New Night Vision: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: New Look for Armored Units: By Debbie Gregory

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When most of us think of armor, we imagine the archaic iron suits worn by medieval knights. While extremely limiting the wearer’s speed and mobility, the armor protected the knight from blows and stabs. Modern ground warfare has been dominated by heavily armored, slow moving vehicles that are reminiscent of those immobilizing suits worn by knights. But the U.S. Military is working to change that.

In August, 2014, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the launch of its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The program is bent on revolutionizing modern armored units.

Attempting to move away from the slower, bulky units that are often limited to roads, the GXV-T program is investigating ways to improve the mobility and survivability of U.S. Military vehicles through means other than just bulking on more armor. Researchers are currently looking into alternatives that include avoiding detection, engagement and hits by enemy forces.

The primary goal of the GXT-V program isn’t to replace one type of vehicle, but rather to overhaul the U.S. military’s entire concept of armored units. GXV-T’s technical goals include reducing vehicle size, weight and crew size by 50%, increase vehicle speed by 100%, improve access to diverse terrains by 95%, and reduce detection signatures.

DARPA plans to develop GXV-T technologies over a 24 month period after initial contracts are awarded. Contracts are expected to be awarded by April, 2015. The GXV-T program intends to pursue research, development, design and testing of new units or major components of them. So far, there are only a few sketched drawings of possible prototypes. But the pictures depict a hyper transformation of unit types that are a far cry from M1Abrams tanks.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard &amp, Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: New Look for Armored Units: By Debbie Gregory