DARPA Launches AI Program to Develop Lifelong Learning Machines


DARPA Lifelong Learning MachinesThe Pentagon’s newest artificial intelligence program wants to develop machine learning approaches that allow systems to learn from previous experiences like a human brain.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a Broad Agency Announcement on April 12 for the Lifelong Learning Machines program seeking proposals to develop new technologies to allow AI systems to “apply previous knowledge to novel situations.”

Machine learning systems “are not intelligence in the biological sense,” according to the DARPA issued BAA. Therefore, the systems do not have the ability to adapt to circumstances or situations they have not been trained or programmed against.

This limits how effective AI systems can be for military programs in supply chain, logistics and visual recognition “where complete details are often unknown in advance and the ability to react quickly and adapt to dynamic circumstances is of primary importance,” according to the DARPA BAA.

Rather than try take on the expensive proposition to re-program or re-train these systems, DARPA leaders want to develop a system that will learn over time much like animals and humans do through experiences.

“The goal of the L2M program is to develop fundamentally new machine learning mechanisms that enable systems to learn continuously during execution and apply previously learned information to novel situations the way biological systems do and in which the environment is, in effect, the training set,” according to the DARPA BAA.

The Abstract is due May 3. The proposal is due on June 21. Companies can find the entire BAA here.

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