Steven Walker: DARPA Invests in ‘Second Wave’ AI, Sets Sights on Space Programs

Steven Walker

Steven Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has said DARPA has begun to invest in the development of the “second wave” of artificial intelligence platforms, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.

“They’re trained on massive data sets, they do a great job in pattern recognition and looking for images… but they’re still very brittle,” Walker said of the second-wave AI technology that has resulted in the development of autonomous platforms.

“We have more work to do, I think, in second wave, in terms of making them more robust,” he noted at a Defense Writers Group-hosted event.

He mentioned that DARPA has started several programs that are associated with the third wave of AI platforms and will depend on contextual adaptation.

Walker, a 2018 Wash100 recipient, cited space as one of his priorities and that he wants the Defense Department to fund the development of small satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit to help address hostile threats, according to a report by SpaceNews.

He also discussed DARPA’s Blackjack program that aims to advance the development of commercial satellite buses designed to host military payloads, the report added.

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