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Archive for the ‘military’ category

Apr 18, 2018

The Quantum Race the United States Can’t Afford To Lose

Posted by in categories: military, neuroscience, quantum physics

The quantum race is on, and the stakes are high. The winner will gain a military and intelligence edge, as well as a first mover advantage in what is guaranteed to be a massive industry for decades to come. How will the United States fare?

Blog Post by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal.

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Apr 16, 2018

Team develops face recognition technology that works in the dark

Posted by in categories: military, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

Army researchers have developed an artificial intelligence and machine learning technique that produces a visible face image from a thermal image of a person’s face captured in low-light or nighttime conditions. This development could lead to enhanced real-time biometrics and post-mission forensic analysis for covert nighttime operations.

Thermal cameras like FLIR, or Forward Looking Infrared, sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently, thermal cameras are becoming available for use as body-worn cameras. The ability to perform automatic face recognition at nighttime using such thermal cameras is beneficial for informing a Soldier that an individual is someone of interest, like someone who may be on a watch list.

The motivations for this technology—developed by Drs. Benjamin S. Riggan, Nathaniel J. Short and Shuowen “Sean” Hu, from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory—are to enhance both automatic and human-matching capabilities.

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Apr 13, 2018

Google is Pursuing the Pentagon’s Giant Cloud Contract Quietly, Fearing An Employee Revolt

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

A fierce internal debate may undermine the company’s bid for the JEDI program.

Last August, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis made a journey to the West Coast and met with Google founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai. Over a half day of meetings, Google leaders described the company’s multi-year transition to cloud computing and how it was helping them develop into a powerhouse for research and development into artificial intelligence. Brin in particular was eager to showcase how much Google was learning every day about AI and cloud implementation, according to one current and one former senior Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It wasn’t an overt sales pitch, exactly, say the officials. But the effect of the trip, during which Mattis also met representatives from Amazon, was transformative. He went west with deep reservations about a department-wide move to the cloud and returned to Washington, D.C., convinced that the U.S. military had to move much of its data to a commercial cloud provider — not just to manage files, email, and paperwork but to push mission-critical information to front-line operators.

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Apr 12, 2018

A Global Arms Race for Killer Robots Is Transforming Warfare

Posted by in categories: drones, government, information science, military, robotics/AI

We are now on the brink of a “third revolution in warfare,” heralded by killer robots — the fully autonomous weapons that could decide who to target and kill… without human input.


Over the weekend, experts on military artificial intelligence from more than 80 world governments converged on the U.N. offices in Geneva for the start of a week’s talks on autonomous weapons systems. Many of them fear that after gunpowder and nuclear weapons, we are now on the brink of a “third revolution in warfare,” heralded by killer robots — the fully autonomous weapons that could decide who to target and kill without human input. With autonomous technology already in development in several countries, the talks mark a crucial point for governments and activists who believe the U.N. should play a key role in regulating the technology.

The meeting comes at a critical juncture. In July, Kalashnikov, the main defense contractor of the Russian government, announced it was developing a weapon that uses neural networks to make “shoot-no shoot” decisions. In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense released a video showing an autonomous drone swarm of 103 individual robots successfully flying over California. Nobody was in control of the drones; their flight paths were choreographed in real-time by an advanced algorithm. The drones “are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” a spokesman said. The drones in the video were not weaponized — but the technology to do so is rapidly evolving.

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Apr 12, 2018

ARA Develops Lightweight Laser Weapon System

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, military, space

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) is developing a compact, completely self-contained directed-energy weapon that is the first of its size and specifications, making it a standout from existing systems.

The Silent Saber is high power, 1.5 kilowatt fiber laser packaged in a backpack with power supplies and a unique thermal control system. A telescope with multiple potential mounting configurations can be mounted to existing Picatinny rails of a soldier’s rifle, and a laser is connected to the telescope by a fiber cable.

“This tool provides options to the warfighter to support explosive ordnance disposal, counter infrastructure and counter drone missions,” said Principal Engineer Joseph Paranto, ARA’s Director of Directed Energy Systems.

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Apr 10, 2018

Legal experts: Conflict in outer space will happen

Posted by in categories: law, military, policy, space

The University of Nebraska College of Law is joining forces with space and military law experts from Australia and the United Kingdom to take the lead on understanding how our Earth-bound laws will be applied in times of armed conflict in outer space.

Some of the best legal and policy minds at the University of Adelaide, UNSW Canberra, University of Exeter and Nebraska Law will draft the definitive document on military and security law as applied to space.

The Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations is to be completed in 2020. It will draw on the knowledge of dozens of legal and space operations experts from around the world.

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Apr 10, 2018

Killer robots: pressure builds for ban as governments meet

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

Countries spending billions on ‘third revolution in warfare’ as UN debates regulation of AI-powered weapons.

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Apr 9, 2018

Military-Funded Study Successfully Tests ‘Prosthetic Memory’ Brain Implants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, military, neuroscience

Scientists tested a brain implant that replicates short-term recall in patients with memory loss. It may have actually worked.

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Apr 7, 2018

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, law, military, robotics/AI

“Be very, very afraid. As this extraordinary book reveals, we are fast sailing into an era in which big life-and-death decisions in war will be made not by men…and women, but by artificial intelligence” — @stavridisj’s review of @paul_scharre upcoming book Pre-order yours now:


A Pentagon defense expert and former U.S. Army Ranger explores what it would mean to give machines authority over the ultimate decision of life or death.

What happens when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Or when a weapon that can hunt its own targets is hacked? Although it sounds like science fiction, the technology already exists to create weapons that can attack targets without human input. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in emerging weapons technologies, draws on deep research and firsthand experience to explore how these next-generation weapons are changing warfare.

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Apr 6, 2018

Google employees pen letter denouncing controversial AI drone project

Posted by in categories: business, drones, internet, military, robotics/AI

‘Google should not be in the business of war’: Over 3,000 employees pen letter urging CEO to pull out of the Pentagon’s controversial AI drone research, citing firm’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto…


More than 3,000 Google employees have penned an open letter calling upon the internet giant’s CEO to end its controversial ‘Project Maven’ deal.

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