Artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy experts from the US and the UK have collaboratively demonstrated AI-based technology that can be deployed to support warfighters.

The demonstrations were conducted during two major military exercises that involved the participation of a total of 30 experts from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The first exercise, Project Convergence 22 (PC22), was conducted at US National Training Centre at Fort Irwin, California.

During the exercise, all the participants were required to work as a joint task force to demonstrate AI-based technologies that can be used to address different challenges encountered by warfighters.

The task force deployed a UK-US AI toolbox for the first time, allowing coalition participants to choose the best AI tools for different missions.

This toolbox leveraged data from the UK-US uncrewed ground vehicles and aerial vehicles (UAV) to support rapid AI training and retraining on deployed tactical computers to provide mission-specific AI.

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The technologies demonstrated at PC22 were then put under practical assessment during the second consecutively held exercise, as part of the Dstl HYDRA project’s Integrated Concept Evaluation (ICE4).

The second event in December 2022 allowed the deployed task force to apply lessons learned from PC22 in a new operational environment at the British Army’s Salisbury Plain Training Area, Wiltshire.

This showcased how an AI toolbox can adapt data from multiple platforms to provide quick updates to AI on autonomous systems.

UK HYDRA project technical authority Dr Chris Jones said: “ICE4 has enabled us to consider the practicalities of how AI could be used to support swarming UAS operations in contested environments where processing at the edge will play a crucial role.”