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AI The Military United States

Project Maven Brings AI To the Fight Against ISIS (thebulletin.org) 35

Dog of the South writes: When the Pentagon -- famous for its painful procurement process and its penchant for producing tech systems that are obsolete before they're fielded -- decided to develop and deploy artificial intelligence to a combat zone within just six months, the idea sounded like a failure waiting to happen. Remarkably, Project Maven has met its goals and won rave reviews -- and may have changed the Pentagon's whole approach to tech innovation. But is the Defense Department ready for the enormous challenges that lie at the intersection of military power and artificial intelligence?
The project "focuses on analysis of full-motion video data from tactical aerial drone platforms," according to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , which reports that the Pentagon has already spent "tens of billions of dollars" developing them.

"A single drone with these sensors produces many terabytes of data every day. Before AI was incorporated into analysis of this data, it took a team of analysts working 24 hours a day to exploit only a fraction of one drone's sensor data."
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Project Maven Brings AI To the Fight Against ISIS

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  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @01:47PM (#55800909)

    It's the Federal Rules of Procurement. They're designed for buying either large bulk purchases of commodity items or securing expensive contracts like a new fighter or tanks. Computer-related work outside of embedded systems is almost always too agile, even under a more waterfall release schedule, for the extremely brittle and rigid law.

  • Sharing ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Big Bipper ( 1120937 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @01:50PM (#55800921)
    This technology sounds like something the NSA might like to borrow. Or perhaps the quick roll out indicates that it was existing technology that was borrowed from the NSA.
  • Last time I used Maven, all it could do was manage my java libraries.

  • Nobody is ready (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @02:43PM (#55801121) Journal

    But is the Defense Department ready for the enormous challenges that lie at the intersection of military power and artificial intelligence?

    Nobody is ready. The paradigm change is even bigger than the one generated by the introduction of air power and armored vehicles. Nobody can predict exactly which best practices will in the end be revealed as the most effective. Will politicians be unable to put a feet on the streets because swarms of flying robotic explosive cockroaches guided by AI will attack them with lethal intentions? Will the whole human army have to be disbanded like outdated crossbow soldiers, or will a mixed force be most effective?

    Those questions and many others will depend on the pace of advancement of technology and economics. But I fear that we are ready for living in interesting times.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Will politicians be unable to put a feet on the streets because swarms of flying robotic explosive cockroaches guided by AI will attack them with lethal intentions? Will the whole human army have to be disbanded like outdated crossbow soldiers, or will a mixed force be most effective?

      Meh, if it's about fighting ISIS the US has so massively overwhelming firepower that's not the problem. The problem is shifting through a ton of information and finding out who's insurgents planting IEDs and who's farmers tilling crops. My guess it'd be a lot like China's surveillance society [slashdot.org] only with a higher focus on sensor data. In fact, that's likely to be the problem for all "limited" conflicts so I doubt we'll reinvent the bullet as such. And in a total war the nukes will be flying, okay maybe the on

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The US government and ISIS, perhaps if they just made up their fucking minds about whether they are funding and supplying ISIS with weapons and munitions or fighting them. Apparently it depends on who they are killing, any one brown or Russian or Chinese and A OK and well any one that is a US corporate resources exploitation team, white, black or brindle, Muslim or Christian, as long as they are not part of the US corporate resource and labour exploitation team, be they military, mercenary or civilian.

        Now

    • Project Maven brings AI to the fight against ISIS
    • state-of-the-art commercial technology
    • deep learning neural networks
    • focuses on analysis of full-motion video data from tactical aerial drone platforms
    • Okay, we know it's all AI and neural networkish but WHAT DOES IT DO and since that question isn't answered in the article or in the summary why am I supposed to care about it? How about including a "rave review" that mentions ANY function it has. What is it anyway? A program? I'm guessing it points out instances

    • Okay, we know it's all AI and neural networkish but WHAT DOES IT DO and since that question isn't answered in the article or in the summary why am I supposed to care about it?

      They can't let us know what it does. If we know, so will our enemies . . . and then they will adjust their tactics accordingly to thwart the AI.

      For instance, maybe the AI is just counting the ratio of beards and rags on heads in crowds. If this became known, a lot of folks will then shave and don baseball caps.

      Trying to figure out what the enemy's true intentions are is one of the intractable problems in war. As Carl von Clausewitz stated: "No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy."

      This

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      The military have long flight duration drones that fly around the desert and provide HD resolution video of the surrounding area. Some of the sensors provide 360 degree views like Argus-IV. These can provide 70 hours of uninterrupted video of an entire city; everything from people walking around, cars, trucks and buses driving around.

      https://newatlas.com/argus-is-... [newatlas.com]

      But the problem is, just for one days worth of video, it is going to take hundreds of analysts to look for things of interest such as people lo

  • The fight against the Islamic State is largely won [battleswarmblog.com], thanks to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Iraqi government (plus various militias), and Assad's Syrian government. Raqqa [battleswarmblog.com], Deir Ez-Zor [battleswarmblog.com] and Mosul [battleswarmblog.com] have all been liberated from the Islamic State, and what little territory remains is split into shrinking, isolated enclaves.

    The Islamic State may live on for a while yet as an international terrorist organization like Al-Qaeda, especially since so many worldwide jihadi terrorist groups have pledged allegiance to it [battleswarmblog.com], but without territory it lacks one of the prerequisites to be regarded as a "legitimate" caliphate by Muslims worldwide [theatlantic.com], which makes it considerably less dangerous and less likely to inspire acts of jihad in the future.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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