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NGA Eyes Artificial Intelligence to Help Analysts Explore the ‘Unknown’

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The head of analysis at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency wants to utilize artificial intelligence to help analysts review satellite imagery and observe unknown locations and activities. Susan Kalweit, director of analysis at NGA, said AI could take over tasks to analyze images of places human analysts are familiar with, which would then allow them to focus on “unknown” areas, according to a statement DoD said Friday.

“Because we spend so much of our time at the (other places) we have less than 10 percent of our time to spend on those really key questions, the unknown/unknown, and the black swans — trying to anticipate what's going to happen," Kalweit said. 

She also called on the industry to partner with NGA to assist the agency in utilizing AI systems for imagery analysis. 

"Where we have had absolute success in a very consistent way is when our industry partners are paired with our image scientists or our analysts and are doing the development in real time, together," Kalweit said. 

NGA hopes to use machine learning in future missions including change detection or object identification.