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DARPA Launches Program to Expedite Exploratory Research Work on ‘3rd Wave’ AI Concepts

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has introduced a new program that aims to speed up research and development work on artificial intelligence platforms in an effort to help the U.S. maintain its technological edge in the field of AI.

The AI Exploration program will focus on the development of “third wave” AI applications and theory designed to allow machines to adapt to evolving situations, DARPA said Friday.

The agency expects exploratory research work to begin within three months of the announcement of funding opportunities – AIE Opportunities – and plans to award “other transactions” agreements worth up to $1 million each for prototype projects, according to the program announcement.

Researchers should determine the feasibility of AI-based ideas and concepts within 18 months of the OTA-based contract award.

“The intent is to get researchers on contract quickly to test the value and feasibility of innovative concepts,” Peter Highnam, deputy director of DARPA, said of the AIE initiative.

DARPA said the AIE program seeks to pursue AI pilots; proofs of concepts; applications of commercial technology platforms for defense use; and design, development and demonstration of operational or technical utility.

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