Why business is booming for AI startups in the military

The military is responding to the call. NATO announced on June 30 that it is creating a $1 billion innovation fund that will invest in early-stage startups and venture capital funds developing “priority” technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data processing and automation.

Since the beginning of the war, Great Britain has come up with a new AI strategy specifically for defense, and the Germans have spend just under half a billion for research and artificial intelligence within $100 billion in cash for the military.

“War is a catalyst for change,” said Kenneth Payne, head of defense studies at King’s College London and author of the book. I, Warbot: Dawn of Artificial Intelligence Conflict.

The war in Ukraine has added urgency to push more AI tools into the battlefield. The biggest earners are startups like Palantir, which are hoping to cash in as the military races to update their arsenal with the latest technologies. But long-standing ethical concerns about the use of AI in warfare have become more pressing as the technology becomes more advanced, while the prospect of restrictions and regulations governing its use has become more pressing. Using it seems as far away as ever.

The relationship between technology and the military has not always been so friendly. In 2018, after employee protests and outrage, Google pulled out of the Pentagon’s Project Maven, an effort to build an image-recognition system to improve drone attacks. Driverless. The episode sparked heated debate about human rights and the ethics of developing AI for automatic weapons.

It also leads renowned AI researchers like Yoshua Bengio, Turing Prize winner, and Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, founders of leading AI lab DeepMind, promise does not work on lethal AI.

But four years later, Silicon Valley is closer to the world’s military than ever before. And it’s not just big companies – startups are finally interested, says Yll Bajraktari, who was previously executive director of the US National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI) and now works for the Special Competitiveness Research Project, a group says lobbies for greater adoption of AI across the US.

Why AI?

Companies that sell military AI make extensive claims about what their technology can do. They say it can help with everything from the mundane to the dangerous, from background screening to processing data from satellites or recognizing patterns in data to help soldiers make faster decisions on the ground. battlefield. Image recognition software can help identify targets. Autonomous drones could be used for surveillance or attack on land, in the air, or in the water, or to help soldiers deliver supplies more securely than on the ground.

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