Throughout DARPA’s history, artificial intelligence (AI) has been an important area of groundbreaking research and development (R&D). In the 1960s, DARPA researchers completed some of the foundational work in the field, leading to the creation of expert systems, or the first wave of AI technologies. Since then, DARPA has funded developments in the second wave of AI – machine learning – which has significantly impacted defense and commercial capabilities in areas such as speech understanding, self-driving cars, and image recognition. Today, DARPA continues to fund AI innovation, making multiple investments in research that aim to shape a future in which AI systems shift from tools to trusted, collaborative partners in problem solving.
First announced in September, the DARPA AI Next campaign is a multi-year, upwards of $2 billion investment in new and existing programs to create the third wave of AI technologies. To increase awareness of DARPA’s expansive AI R&D efforts, the agency is hosting an Artificial Intelligence Colloquium (AIC) from March 6-7, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia. This event seeks to bring together the DoD research community and defense stakeholders to learn more about DARPA’s current and emerging AI programs, as well as discover how the myriad technologies in development could apply to their diverse missions. The AIC will create an environment for the AI community to engage and develop new collaborations to help apply DARPA’s discoveries to challenges relevant to national security.
During the two-day conference, attendees will hear from current DARPA researchers and program managers as they discuss work that is advancing the fundamentals of AI, as well as those programs that are exploring the technology’s application to defense-relevant challenges – from cyber defense and software engineering to aviation and spectrum management.
“Today, DARPA is pursuing more than 20 programs actively exploring ways to advance the state of the art in AI, pushing beyond second wave machine learning towards the third wave of contextual reasoning capabilities,” said Dr. Peter Highnam, DARPA’s deputy director. “In addition, we are actively working on over 50 programs that are leveraging AI in some capacity. The AI Colloquium will provide attendees with an opportunity learn about the full breadth and depth of our growing AI portfolio.”