WASHINGTON - The Pentagon’s research wing said Friday it was investing $2 billion to develop a new generation of artificial intelligence with “human-like communication” skills.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, will use the money to fund around 20 existing and new projects that will push for a new level of machine learning, said the agency’s director, Steven Walker, at a press conference near Washington.
“We are making multiple research investments aimed at transforming computers from specialized tools to partners in problem-solving,” said Walker, referring to the new generation of machines as “AI Next.”
“We want to explore how machines can acquire human-like communication and reasoning capabilities, with the ability to recognize new situations and environments and adapt to them,” he said, quoted in an official statement.
The current generation of smart machines and robots cannot be easily updated when a new technology appears, and researchers want them to learn to update themselves, he said.
The new smart machines will be designed to help speed up security clearance vetting or accelerated accreditation of software systems, the agency said.
Most of DARPA’s research, which is entirely funded by the Pentagon, is focused on technologies that can be used in combat, such as drones that are becoming ever more autonomous.