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October 19, 2021

US AFRL and UK’s Dstl demonstrate integration of AI technologies

The dual in-person and virtual demonstration was the first of a rotational series of events.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have demonstrated the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies across the two nations.

The dual in-person and virtual demonstration was held at AFRL’s Information Directorate in Rome, New York, and at Dstl’s site near Salisbury, UK.

It is the first joint technical and operation experiment hosted by the joint and international signatories of the Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Collaboration (AAIC) Partnership Agreement.

The US Air Force (USAF) is leading the AAIC Partnership Agreement effort in collaboration with the US Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the US Navy and Army, and Dstl.

AFRL is the lead agency for the USAF.

The four-year agreement is related to developing autonomy and AI technologies to support the armed forces of each of the two countries.

The research collaboration is designed to support partnering US and UK brigades with ‘wide-area’ situational awareness.

It is aimed at improving decision-making, expanding operational tempo and minimising manpower burden.

US Army DEVCOM Dr Robert W Sadowski said: “We are dedicated to getting robotics and autonomous systems capability into the hands of the warfighters.

“Advances in robotics and autonomy will make our formations more capable and mission-ready while providing protection to our warfighters through unprecedented stand-off while enabling enhanced lethality on the battlefield.”

During the event, the integration of 15 advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms and 12 UK and US datasets was demonstrated.

It also involved integration of five automated ML training and retraining workflow models and their fielding as a service for end-users and platforms.

The experiment showcased the ability for the US and the UK to jointly ‘develop, select, train, and deploy’ advanced learning algorithms.

AFRL US Project Agreement Dr Lee M Seversky said: “The 18 October event demonstrated how the UK and US can integrate AI technology to create the first end-to-end machine learning research, development, and deployment ecosystem, enabling rapid data sharing, algorithm development, evaluation, and deployment.

“AI will play a critical role in accelerating decision making to meet the pace and scale of the future battlespace.”

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