Google, DoD Partner to Develop AI Tech for UAS Footage Analysis

  • Google, DoD Partner to Develop AI Tech for UAS Footage Analysis

Google, DoD Partner to Develop AI Tech for UAS Footage Analysis

Project Maven is a fast-moving Pentagon program, officially known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT). Maven's main objective is to identify various objects in drone footage using advanced computer vision, thereby removing that burden from human analysts, who can not keep up with the vast amounts of daily data. The DoD's spend on AI-related innovations is to the tune of $7.4 billion according to the Wall Street Journal. As noted by the co-author of a report on the use of artificial intelligence in the army Greg Allen (Greg Allen), the military learned to collect information, but did not care about the technologies for data analysis.

Now while the drones employed by the USA defence department are loaded with sensors to gather a lot of information during flight, there is no effective way of analysing the data generated by these sensors and video footage. This project helps identify objects seen in drone footage. For example, ProPublica reported in 2016 that an algorithm used to predict the likelihood of recidivism among inmates routinely exhibited racial bias. However, it's not surprising that Google would be involved. For Google, the collaboration could come with an added boon: a chance to position its cloud business as a viable competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as it eyes the federal government as a client.

Last fall, onetime Google C.E.O. and current Alphabet board member Eric Schmidt neatly summed up the ethical concerns of those in Silicon Valley about contributing to military initiatives.

Google acknowledges the "valid concerns" and how the company is now discussing safeguards for machine learning.

Google has signed a contract providing AI technology to the US Department of Defence (DoD), a move slammed by commentators as Google has long kept away from any association with the military industrial complex.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson told ZDNet that this specific project flags images for human review "and is for non-offensive uses only".

The DoD said that its immediate focus would be 38 classes of objects related to the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Schmidt is a head of the Defence Innovation Advisory Board in the United States, which brings together prominent figures from Silicon Valley to "enhance the Defence Department's culture, organisation and processes".

Data became so numerous that analysts Department is physically not able to check. Months after Project Maven was announced, its leader, Col.

Maven is overseen by the undersecretary for defence intelligence and Lt Gen John Shanahan was selected as the project's director.

The DOD has made public its intentions to ramp up research efforts in AI and machine learning and the need to partner up with industry. Drew Cukor, in a press release on Project Maven published in 2017.

"There is no "black box" that delivers the AI system the government needs, at least not now".