Millions of hits result from searching Google for the phrase “how cognitive computing will change the world,” reflecting the public’s big appetite for information about the emerging technology. But some experts foresee a time when the extraordinary is ordinary.
Superman might have beaten bullets with his speed, but the U.S. Defense Department intends to do better. It has its sights set on developing cognitive technologies—computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, for example—that are faster than the speed of human thought.
The military plans to tap machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, to enhance decision making.
Infoscitex Corp., Littleton, Massachusetts (FA8650-14-D-6500 P00008) and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado (FA8650-14-D-6501 P00006), have each been awarded a modification for a $75 million shared ceiling increase to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite/quantity contract for the Human Interface Research and Technology program.
Wright State Applied Research Corp., Beavercreek, Ohio, has been awarded a $42,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for human-machine teaming for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) analysis. Contractor will provide research in three areas: (1) ISR knowledge elicitation; (2) ISR concept design and development; and (3) ISR performance assessment.
PreTalen Limited, Columbus Grove, Ohio, has been awarded a $15 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, small-business innovation research phase III contract for position navigation and time autonomous negotiator applying cognitive effects-based analysis. The contractor will provide the extension of the suite of custom software and hardware designed to simultaneously and autonomously test available Global Navigation Satellite System receivers across the threat spectrum. Work will be performed in Columbus Grove, Ohio, and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by August 9, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.
Rapid advances across the field of artificial intelligence have resulted in computers more capable of processing information as humans or animals do, allowing the machines to learn, adapt and decide for themselves. The technological gains promise benefits in a wide range of areas, including unmanned vehicles, cybersecurity and digital personal assistants.
Machines of the future may think more like humans, promising dramatic changes for military robotics, unmanned aircraft and even missiles. U.S. military researchers say cognitive computers—processors inspired by the human brain—could bring about a wide range of changes that include helping robots work more closely with their human teammates; allowing for smaller, more agile unmanned aircraft; and improving missile precision, further reducing civilian casualties.
The eyes may have it, but the brain takes it to another level in a new technology being developed by researchers for the U.S. Defense Department. Imagery is viewed by the human eye, and the breakthrough advance uses neurotechnology to narrow that data into smaller, more concentrated images for further interpretation. In his article, "Brainwaves Boost Intelligence," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, George I. Seffers looks at the Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts (NIA) program.