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Air Force Lab and Defence Science Labs Collaborate for AI and Autonomy

The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) of the United Kingdom have demonstrated for the first time the ability of the United States and the United Kingdom to jointly develop, select, train, and deploy state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms in support of each nation’s armed forces. This study attempts to provide neighboring, cooperating US and UK brigades with long-term wide-area situational awareness to improve decision-making, increase the operational tempo, lower the risk of death, and reduce workforce burden.

The physical and virtual demonstrations were held on Oct. 18 at AFRL’s Information Directorate in Rome and Dstl’s location in Salisbury, U.K. The demonstration showcased integrated AI technologies from both countries, demonstrating the capacity to share data and algorithms via a shared development and deployment platform, allowing rapid AI capability selection, testing, and deployment. The event was made possible by a December 2020 partnership agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States on autonomy and AI collaboration.

It was the first in a series of events organized by joint and international signatories of the Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Collaboration (AAIC) Partnership Agreement. The event was attended in person by senior leaders from the United States and the United Kingdom and virtually by representatives from all services and the US Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The United States Department of the Air Force is leading the AAIC Partnership Agreement initiative, with AFRL as the lead agency for the Air Force, in collaboration with OUSDR&E, the United States Navy and Army, and the United Kingdom’s Dstl.

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