Navy Releases SCOUT with Renewed AI Vision

 

The Navy has released the first phase of its SCOUT artificial intelligence framework, with plans to improve on the capabilities of the program over time through feedback from users. With SCOUT’s enhanced AI vision system, human operators can utilize the Navy’s powerful computing resources to help them view and process vast amounts of information more quickly and accurately than ever before. This will ultimately increase their ability to keep U.S. waters safe from enemies and ensure freedom of navigation around the world’s waterways.

What is SCOUT?

Officially launched on May 17, 2018, Project SCOUT has been designed as a fully open-architecture system to further development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems across all levels and missions of service. The idea is that over time, advances in AI will allow both sailors and Marines to increase their operational effectiveness.

What are some future applications?

One of many future uses for artificial intelligence is to handle routine and mundane tasks that take up significant amounts of human employees’ time. From filling out paperwork to answering phones, employees can spend hours doing jobs machines are better suited for. With SCOUT, or Semantic Compiling Output Translator, Navy officials believe they can automate many administrative processes. By letting computers do some of these tedious jobs, humans can focus on more creative work. This also frees up Navy personnel and lets them perform duties across multiple ships simultaneously.

Where did the idea come from?

It all started on June 27, 2019, when The Office of Naval Research (ONR) officially released SCOUT, an artificial intelligence program created to assist humans in decision-making. During a ceremony at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), ONR demonstrated how SCOUT could be deployed in field environments such as search and rescue operations.

How does it work?

SCOUT is basically a framework that can be used to create an artificial intelligence program for a specific purpose. It provides high-level code that simplifies and speeds up development of artificial intelligence programs as well as other programming tasks. Although it’s not ready for military use, and only one group has been testing it so far, Navy researchers hope to make it available to all services by 2018. At that point, they want to enhance its capabilities through machine learning.

Things to know about SCOUT

SCOUT (Systems for Cognitive Output, Understanding, and Transcription) is a new computational system created by The Office of Naval Research. Based on machine learning algorithms and neural networks, SCOUT will work to enhance human understanding and coordination in naval operations at sea. How can I work on improving these programs? As we continue to expand our research into deep learning algorithms and improve our understanding of human cognition and perception, so will systems like SCOUT.

The ethics involved with an AI system like this

Is it ethical to allow an autonomous weapon make life or death decisions? Of course, it is also unethical for soldiers to be put in such situations. However, should an autonomous weapons system be given a fighting chance to engage its target if a soldier’s life is at risk? How can we allow these systems to protect their operators without going down a slippery slope and letting them loose on civilians? These are some of questions that need asking before letting these types of systems loose.

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