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CHIPS Articles: DARPA Announces 2019 AI Colloquium

DARPA Announces 2019 AI Colloquium
By CHIPS Magazine - November 20, 2018
In early March, the scientific defense community will gather to learn about DARPA’s robust efforts in artificial intelligence research to bring about the next wave of AI development. Throughout DARPA’s history, AI has been at the heart of groundbreaking research and development. In the 1960s, DARPA researchers completed some of the foundational work in the field, leading to the creation of expert systems, known as the first wave of AI technologies, according to a DARPA release.

Since then, DARPA has funded R&D efforts in the second wave of AI – machine learning – which has significantly advanced defense and commercial capabilities in areas such as speech understanding, self-driving cars and image recognition. Today, DARPA continues the momentum for AI innovation, making numerous investments in research with an aim to shape a future in which AI systems evolve from tools to trusted, collaborative partners in problem solving, according to the release.

To this end, DARPA announced the AI Next campaign, a multi-year, $2 billion investment in new and existing programs to launch the third wave of AI technologies. To boost awareness for its extensive AI investments, DARPA will host an Artificial Intelligence Colloquium (AIC) from March 6 to 7, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia. The event, first announced in September, is designed to bring the Defense Department research community together with DoD stakeholders so they can learn more about DARPA’s current and emerging AI programs. Attendees will learn how AI technologies in development could support their diverse missions. The idea is to create a collaborative environment for the AI community to engage and to foster utilization of DARPA’s discoveries to solve national security challenges.

DARPA researchers and program managers will discuss the work that is advancing the fundamentals of AI, as well as those programs that are investigating the technology’s application to DoD areas of study, including: cyber defense, software engineering, aviation and spectrum management.

“Today, DARPA is pursuing more than 20 programs actively exploring ways to advance the state-of-the-art in AI, pushing beyond second wave machine learning towards the third wave of contextual reasoning capabilities,” said Dr. Peter Highnam, DARPA’s deputy director. “In addition, we are actively working on over 50 programs that are leveraging AI in some capacity. The AI Colloquium will provide attendees with an opportunity learn about the full breadth and depth of our growing AI portfolio.”

In addition to presentations about new and existing DARPA programs, the event will feature:

  • An update on DARPA’s Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) program — a series of high-risk, high reward projects that seek to establish the feasibility of new AI concepts within 18 months of award.
  • A panel discussion on the ethical implications and considerations surrounding the advancement of AI technologies.
  • Poster sessions that provide attendees opportunities to engage with the researchers actively involved with DARPA’s AI programs.

General registration for the DARPA AIC is now open. More information can be found on the event website:

For more information about DARPA’s AI Next campaign, please visit:

Announcement for DARPA’s Artificial Intelligence Colloquium, March 6-7, 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia. DARPA image
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