Google has partnered with the Pentagon in order to help them develop Artificial Intelligence for Drones used by military officials to kill targets abroad.   The decision to work with the U.S. government caused discord among employees of the Internet giant when they learned of Google’s involvement in the controversial program.


Google agrees to help Pentagon build AI powered drones

Gizmodo.com reports: Google’s pilot project with the Defense Department’s Project Maven, an effort to identify objects in drone footage, has not been previously reported, but it was discussed widely within the company last week when information about the project was shared on an internal mailing list, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the project.

 Some Google employees were outraged that the company would offer resources to the military for surveillance technology involved in drone operations, sources said, while others argued that the project raised important ethical questions about the development and use of machine learning.

 Google’s Eric Schmidt summed up the tech industry’s concerns about collaborating with the Pentagon at a talk last fall. “There’s a general concern in the tech community of somehow the military-industrial complex using their stuff to kill people incorrectly,” he said. While Google says its involvement in Project Maven is not related to combat uses, the issue has still sparked concern among employees, sources said.

 Project Maven, a fast-moving Pentagon project also known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), was established in April 2017. Maven’s stated mission is to “accelerate DoD’s integration of big data and machine learning.” In total, the Defense Department spent $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence-related areas in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

 The project’s first assignment was to help the Pentagon efficiently process the deluge of video footage collected daily by its aerial drones—an amount of footage so vast that human analysts can’t keep up, according to Greg Allen, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who co-authored a lengthy July 2017 report on the military’s use of artificial intelligence. Although the Defense Department has poured resources into the development of advanced sensor technology to gather information during drone flights, it has lagged in creating analysis tools to comb through the data.

“Before Maven, nobody in the department had a clue how to properly buy, field, and implement AI,” Allen wrote.

 Maven was tasked with using machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects in drone footage, taking that burden off analysts. Maven’s initial goal was to provide the military with advanced computer vision, enabling the automated detection and identification of objects in as many as 38 categories captured by a drone’s full-motion camera, according to the Pentagon. Maven provides the department with the ability to track individuals as they come and go from different locations.

 Artificial intelligence is already deployed in law enforcement and military applications, but researchers warn that these systems may be significantly biased in ways that aren’t easily detectible. For example, ProPublica reported in 2016 that an algorithm used to predict the likelihood of recidivism among inmates routinely exhibited racial bias.

 Although Google’s involvement stirred up concern among employees, it’s possible that Google’s own product offerings limit its access to sensitive government data. While its cloud competitors, Amazon and Microsoft Azure, offer government-oriented cloud products designed to hold information classified as secret, Google does not currently have a similar product offering.

 A Google spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement that it is providing the Defense Department with TensorFlow APIs, which are used in machine learning applications, to help military analysts detect objects in images. Acknowledging the controversial nature of using machine learning for military purposes, the spokesperson said the company is currently working “to develop polices and safeguards” around its use.

“We have long worked with government agencies to provide technology solutions. This specific project is a pilot with the Department of Defense, to provide open source TensorFlow APIs that can assist in object recognition on unclassified data,” the spokesperson said. “The technology flags images for human review, and is for non-offensive uses only. Military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns. We’re actively discussing this important topic internally and with others as we continue to develop policies and safeguards around the development and use of our machine learning technologies.”

 The Defense Department set an aggressive timeline for Maven—the project was expected to be up and running just six months after it was founded, and reportedly has been deployed in the fight against the Islamic State since December.

 To meet the aggressive timetable, the Defense Department partnered with AI experts in the tech industry and academia, working through Defense Information Unit Experimental, the department’s tech incubation program, and the Defense Innovation Board, an advisory group created by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to bridge the technological gap between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley.

 Schmidt, who stepped down as executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet last month, chairs the Defense Innovation Board. During a July meeting, Schmidt and other members of the Defense Innovation Board discussed the Department of Defense’s need to create a clearinghouse for training data that could be used to enhance the military’s AI capability. Board members played an “advisory role” on Project Maven, according to meeting minutes, while “some members of the Board’s teams are part of the executive steering group that is able to provide rapid input” on Project Maven.

 Maven is overseen by the undersecretary for defense intelligence and Lt. Gen. John Shanahan was selected as the project’s director. Maven was designed to be the spark, according to Shanahan, that would kindle “the flame front of artificial intelligence” across the entire Defense Department.

 By summer 2017, the team set out to locate commercial partners whose expertise was needed to make its AI dreams a reality. At the Defense One Tech Summit in Washington, Maven chief Marine Corps Col. Drew Cukor said a symbiotic relationship between humans and computers was crucial to help weapon systems detect objects.

 Speaking to a crowd of military and industry technology experts, many from Silicon Valley, Cukor professed the US to be in the midst of AI arms race. “Many of you will have noted that Eric Schmidt is calling Google an AI company now, not a data company,” he said, although Cukor did not specifically cite Google as a Maven partner.

“There is no ‘black box’ that delivers the AI system the government needs, at least not now,” he continued. “Key elements have to be put together … and the only way to do that is with commercial partners alongside us.”

 A spokesperson for the Defense Department declined to say whether Google was its only private industry partner on Project Maven or to clarify Google’s role in the project.

“Similar to other DOD programs, Project Maven does not comment on the specifics of contract details, including the names and identities of program contractors and subcontractors,” the spokesperson said.

http://yournewswire.com/google-pengaton-ai-drones/

Views: 10

Reply to This

LIGHTER SIDE

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

ALERT ALERT

Romney Handed Shock
Defeat By Own State’s GOP

Mitt Romney is back in state politics, this time in Utah instead of Massachusetts. However, conservatives in The Beehive State aren’t exactly warming up to the 2012 Republican standard-bearer quite the way many people expected they would.

After finishing second in votes at the state GOP convention, Romney will now face a primary in his run for the Senate seat being vacated by Orrin Hatch, Fox News reported.

At the convention in West Valley City on Saturday, Romney polled just behind state lawmaker Mike Kennedy.

Kennedy captured 50.18 percent of the delegate vote compared to Romney’s 49.12 percent.

That means the two will face off in a primary on June 26 to determine who will represent the GOP this fall.

Romney, the first Mormon to head a major party ticket, is considered an extremely popular figure in Utah and was widely expected to have an easy path to the upper chamber.

In a hypothetical matchup with Democrat Jenny Wilson, at least one poll showed Romney up by 46 percent. That’s, uh, slightly more than the margin of error.

However, among party loyalists, Romney isn’t exactly viewed with unalloyed fondness.

The 2012 presidential nominee was always known for being decidedly moderate, particularly on issues of immigration and global trade. There was also the fact that he ran a campaign so bumbling that it almost made Michael Dukakis look good.

And then there was Romney’s war of words with Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, which likely led many to perceive he secretly wished Hillary Clinton would take the Oval Office.

Trump would later consider Romney as a secretary of state pick, although how serious the president-elect was about appointing him is something we’ll likely never know.

While your average Utah Republican is unlikely to let these slights affect their vote, hardcore party activists probably don’t want another RINO who isn’t exactly known for his rapport with the president in the upper chamber of Congress, no matter how famous he may be.

For his part, Romney tried to put a good spin on the humiliation.

“I’m delighted with the outcome. Did very, very well,” he told KSTU. “On to a good, important primary ahead. This is terrific for the people of Utah.”

Dude, you just lost to a guy nobody has ever heard of. However, Kennedy was happy with the results, and unlike Romney, he had good reason to be.

“I’m a candidate with a compelling life story and a unique set of life circumstances I’d like to use to serve the people of Utah,” Kennedy said.

I have no idea what that story or those circumstances are, but I think the key point here is that he’s not Mitt Romney. If he wants to win, that’s pretty much what he should be focusing on. I can see the billboards now. “Mike Kennedy: Not Mitt Romney.” “Mike Kennedy: He didn’t borrow Ward Cleaver’s haircut.” “Mike Kennedy: Because Utah deserves a senator whose favorite food isn’t buttered noodles.”

Utah’s electorate tends to be less conservative than convention-goers, so it’s unlikely that Romney won’t be the GOP nominee for Senate. However, that’s not a 100 percent certainty — and it wouldn’t be the first time he’s lost to a Kennedy.

What do you think?

YES PATRIOT STORE

© 2018   Created by Steve - Ning Creator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service