MIT, one of the most prominent artificial intelligence research organizations in the United States, is developing an AI accelerator program for the U.S. Air Force. The accelerator will explore research related to areas like advanced algorithms, machine learning, and robotics, as well as logistics and data.
In addition to disaster relief and medical readiness, other possible research areas may include data management, maintenance and logistics, vehicle safety, and cyber resiliency.
Beginning this summer, about a dozen enlisted members of the Air Force will be assigned to a research and development team to tackle “real-world, national security challenges,” according to an Air Force statement.
The accelerator will not however support the creation of autonomous weaponry, MIT professor Maria Zuber told MIT Tech Review.
The Air Force plans to commit $15 million a year to the program, according to an announcement shared today. The program will be housed in MIT’s Beaver Works facility but may include faculty, staff, or students from all five colleges, including MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and groups like MIT’s Robotics team.
The Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing scheduled to open this fall will work to make AI part of the education of all fields of study at MIT.
As part of a plan to raise $1 billion and reshape the institution introduced last fall, MIT said, the new college was founded in part to help the United States remain competitive among growing AI research hotspots in other parts of the world. Under the agreement, MIT will create interdisciplinary teams that include experts in history, ethics, and policy as well as technology, incorporating members of the Air Force.
The new initiative is the latest by the Department of Defense (DoD) to grow its AI development and implementation.
The DoD opened its Joint AI Center last fall and shared its first-ever AI strategy in February, and is currently seeking input about the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Comments can be shared online until September 30. Organizations like the Defense Digital Service (DDS) also recruit tech workers from companies like Google and Facebook to help the military solve problems.