Two months back, at a National Harbor symposium commemorating the DARPA’s 60th anniversary (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), where agency officials divulge its AI Next campaign, a USD2 billion effort to usher in the so-called Third Wave of Artificial Intelligence technologies from concept to reality. To advance that effort, in early 2019, DARPA will host an AI conference to bring together Defense Department researchers and Pentagon vendors to learn about the agency’s R&D efforts in AI.
The conference, to be scheduled for March 6 and 7 in Alexandria at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center will feature DARPA researchers and program managers showcasing their AI work and offering an idea at how this research could be used to solve national security problems, through stronger Cyber defense and software engineering to better aviation and spectrum management. Bringing AI in the federal government from concept to reality has obtained traction over the past year. Artificial intelligence’s first wave, in DARPA’s telling, begun in the 1960s and focused on developing rules-based AI systems performing narrowly defined tasks. The second wave, which took off in the 1990s, is what companies largely equate with AI and Machine Learning technologies today that identify statistical patterns from large amounts of data.
With the third wave push, DARPA seeks to make computers partners in problem-solving, able to apply contextual reasoning in ways that make enable to communicate, reason and recognize new situations like humans, the opportunity for Greater Washington tech firms and government contractors. DARPA wants to explore using AI to automate critical defense department business processes. These include security clearance vetting done in a week or accrediting software systems in one day for operational deployment. DARPA has over 20 programs underway exploring ways to push beyond second-wave Machine Learning techniques toward contextual reasoning capabilities. More than 60 active DARPA programs are employing AI in some capacity. These contain collaborative efforts to share electromagnetic spectrum bandwidth to identifying and patching cyber vulnerabilities. And over the next year, DARPA will issue various broad agency announcements for new programs that advance the state of the art in AI.