The Defense Department’s cutting-edge research arm has promised to make the military’s largest investment to date in artificial intelligence (AI) systems for U.S. weaponry, committing to spend up to $2 billion over the next five years in what it depicted as a new effort to make such systems more trusted and accepted by military commanders.
The director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the spending spree on the final day of a conference in Washington celebrating its sixty-year history, including its storied role in birthing the internet.
The agency sees its primary role as pushing forward new technological solutions to military problems, and the Trump administration’s technical chieftains have strongly backed injecting artificial intelligence into more of America’s weaponry as a means of competing better with Russian and Chinese military forces.
The DARPA investment is small by Pentagon spending standards, where the cost of buying and maintaining new F-35 warplanes is expected to exceed a trillion dollars. But it is larger than AI programs have historically been funded and roughly what the United States spent on the Manhattan Project that produced nuclear weapons in the 1940’s, although that figure would be worth about $28 billion today due to inflation.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht