Cognitive artificial intelligence (AI) assistant developer MSBAI has been selected for the US Air Force (USAF) AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract in the 20.1 cycle.

AFWERX programme seeks to encourage innovation and address tough challenges while serving the needs of the service.

Under the contract, MSBAI will adapt its GURU cognitive AI assistant as a new solution to defend against hypersonic threats.

GURU is considered as ‘Universal Interface for Simulation’ that allows ‘untrained users to run specialised simulation software’.

In the latest programme, MSBAI said it will show GURU operating Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC) AVATAR trajectory simulation software autonomously.

SAIC Missile Defense Programmes senior director Jim Hyatt said: “SAIC is delighted to partner with MSB.AI, through the Techstars programme, and support them on their SBIR phase 2 win in partnership with AFWERX and the Missile Defense Agency.

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“This work will bring artificial intelligence to SAIC’s AVATAR, 6-dof missile simulation. Government users will now be able to digitally develop optimal defence architectures by running millions of emerging threat scenarios before investing in hardware.”

MSBAI launched GURU in August at the SMC2020 conference hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

GURU will enable the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to rapidly frame threat trajectory simulations in minutes.

AFRL DoD Supercomputing Resource Center director Bryon J Foster said: “Lowering the initial training barrier will be critical for the airforce using supercomputing to rapidly create solutions.”