Military

2019/02/06 Defending Against Adversarial Artificial Intelligence

Today, machine learning (ML) is coming into its own, ready to serve mankind in a diverse array of applications – from highly efficient manufacturing, medicine and massive information analysis to self-driving transportation, and beyond. However, if misapplied, misused or subverted, ML holds the potential for great harm – this is the double-edged sword of machine learning. “Over the last decade, researchers have focused on realizing practical ML capable of accomplishing real-world tasks and making them more efficient,” said Dr. Hava Siegelmann, program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office (I2O). “We’re already benefitting from that work, and rapidly incorporating ML into a number of enterprises. But, in a very real way, we’ve rushed ahead, paying little attention to vulnerabiliti...

2019/01/31 Building Trusted Human-Machine Partnerships

A key ingredient in effective teams – whether athletic, business, or military – is trust, which is based in part on mutual understanding of team members’ competence to fulfill assigned roles. When it comes to forming effective teams of humans and autonomous systems, humans need timely and accurate insights about their machine partners’ skills, experience, and reliability to trust them in dynamic environments. At present, autonomous systems cannot provide real-time feedback when changing conditions such as weather or lighting cause their competency to fluctuate. The machines’ lack of awareness of their own competence and their inability to communicate it to their human partners reduces trust and undermines team effectiveness. To help transform machines from simple tools to trusted partners,...

2019/01/22 Teams Will Test Concepts for Exploring Underground in SubT Integration Exercise

In early April, nine qualified teams will attempt to remotely navigate the dark and dirty corridors of Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, in preparation for the Circuits Stage of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge later this year. The SubT Integration Exercise, known as STIX, offers teams an opportunity to try out their technologies, including robotics, sensors, and communications solutions, in a representative environment. The locations for the Circuits Stage events have not been announced. The Subterranean Challenge seeks to revolutionize how first responders and warfighters operate in human-made tunnel systems, urban underground settings, and natural cave networks that are too dangerous, dark, deep, and unknown to risk human lives. Teams are competing to develop br...

2019/01/22 Understanding Warfighter Performance from the Inside Out

A new program out of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office could help the Department of Defense enhance and sustain military readiness both by revolutionizing how troops train, perform, and recover, and by mitigating shortages of highly qualified candidates for extremely specialized roles. The anticipated outputs of the Measuring Biological Aptitude (MBA) program are a set of biomarkers — measurable indicators of biological processes — that correspond to traits of highly effective performance in a given role, along with new tools to measure and report on those biomarkers in real time. This information will enable individual warfighters to understand and affect the underlying biological processes that govern their success. MBA technologies could improve training, team formation, mission pe...

2019/01/22 DARPA Prototype Reflectarray Antenna Offers High Performance in Small Package

DARPA’s Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) is set for launch in late February to space-qualify a new type of membrane reflectarray antenna. The antenna, made of a tissue-thin Kapton membrane, packs tightly for stowage during launch and then will deploy to its full size of 2.25 meters in diameter once it reaches low Earth orbit. R3D2 will monitor antenna deployment dynamics, survivability and radio frequency (RF) characteristics of a membrane antenna in low-Earth orbit. The antenna could enable multiple missions that currently require large satellites, to include high data rate communications to disadvantaged users on the ground. A successful demonstration also will help prove out a smaller, faster-to-launch and lower cost capability, allowing the Department of D...

2019/01/16 DARPA Explores New Computing Architectures to Deliver Verifiable Data Assurances

Whether a piece of information is private, proprietary, or sensitive to national security, systems owners and users have little guarantees about where their information resides or of its movements between systems. When a user enters information on a phone, for example, it is difficult to provably track that the data remains on the phone or whether it is uploaded to a server beyond the device. The national defense and security communities are similarly left with few options when it comes to ensuring that sensitive information is appropriately isolated, particularly when it’s loaded to an internet-connected system. “As cloud systems proliferate, most people still have some information that they want to physically track – not just entrust to the ether,” said Walter Weiss, DARPA program manage...

2019/01/04 Generating Actionable Understanding of Real-World Phenomena with AI

Rapid comprehension of world events is critical to informing national security efforts. These noteworthy changes in the natural world or human society can create significant impact on their own, or may form part of a causal chain that produces broader impact. Many events are not simple occurrences but complex phenomena composed of a web of numerous subsidiary elements – from actors to timelines. The growing volume of unstructured, multimedia information available, however, hampers uncovering and understanding these events and their underlying elements. “The process of uncovering relevant connections across mountains of information and the static elements that they underlie requires temporal information and event patterns, which can be difficult to capture at scale with currently available ...

2018/12/19 DARPA Awards Six Teams During Final Spectrum Collaboration Challenge Qualifier

On December 12, DARPA held the second preliminary event of the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) – the world’s first collaborative machine-intelligence competition to overcome spectrum scarcity. Fifteen teams represented by members from across the academic, commercial and defense landscapes gathered at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to pit their intelligent radio designs against each other in a head-to-head competition. At the event’s conclusion, six of the eight top-scoring teams walked away with $750,000 each in prize money. While not all competitors received interim prizes, all 15 teams have an opportunity to move on to the next stage and compete in the 2019 Spectrum Collaboration Challenge grand finale, which will be held in conjunction with MWC19 Los An...

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