DARPA 2018: Air Force To Test ‘Flying Aircraft Carriers’ With High-Performance Drones

The killer drone race is running amok as DARPA is sponsoring flying aircraft carriers with long-range drones equipped with precision ordinance that can automatically return to their flying ‘carrier’. This is the nexus of the military-industrial complex and Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

The movies were right: Gremlins are real.

Or at least they will be if DARPA — the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — has anything to say about it. As we learned this week from our friends at the Navy Times , DARPA is moving ahead on its effort to create a fleet of flying aircraft carriers, which it calls the “Gremlins” program, with demonstration flights scheduled to begin sometime next year.

What are Gremlins?

We’ve been watching this particular hush-hush DARPA project for more than two years now . In a nutshell, it calls for the creation of a new class of small, reusable drones that can be launched midair from a C-130 air transport, disperse to surveil (or, depending on the payload, attack) targets as much as 300 miles away, then return to their flying airbase to dock for refueling and rearming.

Basically, Gremlins will be flying, warlike Roombas, but supersized — big enough to carry 60 pounds of payload each.

What are Gremlins for ?

According to our friends at Scout Warrior , who’ve also been following this project closely, one key objective of the Gremlins is to extend the range at which U.S. air forces can operate in a contested environment characterized by an adversary employing A2/AD (anti-access/aerial-denial) tactics. These include the use of cruise missiles to keep aircraft carriers at bay, forcing airplanes to fly long distances to reach their targets, and surface-to-air missiles, which make it hazardous for nonstealthy aircraft to get too close to hostile territory by air.

Obviously, nonstealthy C-130 air transports aren’t the best way to penetrate such defenses. After Phase 3 of the Gremlins project is complete, the Air Force will probably want to order up a stealthy “mothership” to take over the role of “flying aircraft carrier.” Such a mothership — perhaps a modified version of Northrop Grumman ‘s (NYSE: NOC) new B-21 bomber , or the yet-to-be revealed carrier-launched MQ-25 Stingray , could fulfill this role.

Launched from an aircraft carrier, a more advanced mothership would fly stealthily into hostile airspace, undetected by radar. Suddenly, enemy radar screens would light up as dozens of unstealthy Gremlin drones appear seemingly from out of nowhere to conduct strikes, then return to their mothership and simply vanish into radar-invisibility once again.

At which point the mothership would return to base, never having been detected.

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Project Maven to Deploy Computer Algorithms to War Zone by Year’s End

TN has repeatedly warned about the arms race surrounding artificial intelligence, and the military is the perpetrator. This means that AI is being used and refined to kill and destroy around the world. One must ask, what could go wrong with that? ⁃ TN Editor

Winning wars with computer algorithms and artificial intelligence were among the topics that Defense Department intelligence officials discussed during a recent Defense One Tech Summit here.

A stand-alone exhibit titled, “Innovations in Defense: Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Cybersecurity,” features Pittsburgh-based team ForAllSecure’s Mayhem Cyber Reasoning System. The system took first place at the August 2016 Cyber Grand Challenge finals, beating out six other computers. The Mayhem CRS is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The exhibit was produced by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The exhibit will run through Sept. 17, 2017.

A stand-alone exhibit titled, “Innovations in Defense: Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Cybersecurity,” features Pittsburgh-based team ForAllSecure’s Mayhem Cyber Reasoning System. The system took first place at the August 2016 Cyber Grand Challenge finals, beating out six other computers. The Mayhem CRS is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The exhibit was produced by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The exhibit will run through Sept. 17, 2017.

Presenters included Marine Corps Col. Drew Cukor, chief of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Function Team in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operations Directorate-Warfighter Support in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

By the end of the calendar year, the department will field advanced computer algorithms onto government platforms to extract objects from massive amounts of moving or still imagery, Cukor said in his remarks.

“People and computers will work symbiotically to increase the ability of weapon systems to detect objects,” Cukor added. “Eventually we hope that one analyst will be able to do twice as much work, potentially three times as much, as they’re doing now. That’s our goal.”

A computer algorithm is a set of rules to be followed during problem-solving operations. Cukor described an algorithm as about 75 lines of Python code “placed inside a larger software-hardware container.”

He said the immediate focus is 38 classes of objects that represent the kinds of things the department needs to detect, especially in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Project Maven

The effort to help a workforce increasingly overwhelmed by incoming data, including millions of hours of video, began in April when then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work announced in a memo that he was establishing an Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team, overseen by the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, to work on something he called Project Maven.

“As numerous studies have made clear, the department of defense must integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning more effectively across operations to maintain advantages over increasingly capable adversaries and competitors,” Work wrote.

“Although we have taken tentative steps to explore the potential of artificial intelligence, big data and deep learning,” he added, “I remain convinced that we need to do much more and move much faster across DoD to take advantage of recent and future advances in these critical areas.”

Project Maven focuses on computer vision — an aspect of machine learning and deep learning — that autonomously extracts objects of interest from moving or still imagery, Cukor said. Biologically inspired neural networks are used in this process, and deep learning is defined as applying such neural networks to learning tasks.

“This effort is an announcement … that we’re going to invest for real here,” he said.

Working With Industry

Rapidly delivering artificial intelligence to a combat zone won’t be easy, Cukor said.

“There is no ‘black box’ that delivers the AI system the government needs, at least not now,” he said. “Key elements have to be put together … and the only way to do that is with commercial partners alongside us.”

Work to be accomplished over the next few months includes triaging and labeling data so the algorithms can be trained, the colonel explained.

“That work is inherently governmental and so we have a large group of people — sophisticated analysts and engineers — who are going through our data and cleaning it up. We also have a relationship with a significant data-labeling company that will provide services across our three networks — the unclassified and the classified networks — to allow our workforce to label our data and prepare it for machine learning,” Cukor said.

The department has a significant effort ongoing to procure computational power, including graphic processing units that allow training of machine-learning algorithms, he said. An algorithmic development contract also is in process — the department will go through a competitive selection process to find vendors that can provide algorithms against DoD data.

“You don’t buy AI like you buy ammunition,” he added. “There’s a deliberate workflow process and what the department has given us with its rapid acquisition authorities is an opportunity for about 36 months to explore what is governmental and [how] best to engage industry [to] advantage the taxpayer and the warfighter, who wants the best algorithms that exist to augment and complement the work he does.”

Other aspects of the work include integrating and fielding the algorithms, and once an algorithm is on a platform it must be optimized over its lifecycle, Cukor said.

AI Arms Race

“We are in an AI arms race,” Cukor said. “ … It’s happening in industry [and] the big five Internet companies are pursuing this heavily. Many of you will have noted that Eric Schmidt [executive chairman of Alphabet Inc.] is calling Google an AI company now, not a data company.”

The colonel described the technology available commercially, the state-of-the-art in computer vision, as “frankly … stunning,” thanks to work in the area by researchers and engineers at Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a $36 billion investment last year across commercial industry.

“No area will be left unaffected by the impact of this technology,” he added.

For now, many tasks, like computer vision, are ready for AI capabilities and many are not, Cukor said, noting that “AI will not be selecting a target [in combat] … any time soon. What AI will do is compliment the human operator.”

Before deploying algorithms to combat zones, Cukor said, “you’ve got to have your data ready and you’ve got to prepare and you need the computational infrastructure for training.”

Also needed are algorithm developers and software engineers, he said, an interface must be developed between AI and human operators, and ultimately integration and optimization will be needed over the deployment lifecycle.

“All of these things have got to be put in harmony over the next 36 months as we move down this path,” Cukor said.

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Human Testing Begins: Brain Implants To ‘Change Moods Controlled By AI’

The Technocrats at DARPA are often seen as the financiers of research such as this, all of which is conducted for military purposes. Why is the military so interested in creating malleable super-soldiers? Or will the government ultimately use such discoveries against their own citizens? ⁃ TN Editor

Devices plugged into people’s skulls are being developed by boffins funded by the US military’s research division DARPA.

These implants will use electronic pulses to alter the chemicals in people’s brains in a process called “deep brain stimulation”.

This will then change people’s moods and is believed to be able to treat mental illness and provide therapy.

Artificial intelligence in implants will detect and study the brain to know what pulses to send – described by scientists as a “window on the brain”.

DARPA has handed the cash to teams form the University of California and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Testing suggestions the mood implants can be used to treat disorders such as Parkinson’s.

Experiments have been also carried out on people with depression – but the the results are inconclusive so far.

DARPA is funding the project with the long-term goal of being able treat traumatised soldiers.

The current work – which includes human testing – was presented at the Society of Neuroscience in Washington, reports Nature.

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Russian and Chinese Killer Robots Set To “RULE THE WORLD’ And Dominate U.S.

TN has repeatedly warned that an all-out global arms race for killer robots was underway and that the outcome will be deadly. Technocrats build because they can, indeed they are compelled to do so, but not for any good reason, unless killing millions is a good reason in itself.  TN Editor

CHINESE and Russian Artificial Intelligence (AI) are set leave US systems in their dust as the emerging superpowers bid to become the world’s most powerful nation.

Kari Bingen, Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (SDI), warned the two powers were making huge advances in their tech and were advancing on the US.

The findings came form an earth shattering report that claimed the US has rapidly fallen behind its rivals and must now decide if it wants to “lead the coming revolution, or fall victim to it”.

Former deputy SDI, Robert Work, said the Pentagon needed to pour billions into researching advanced computing and robotics, or risk Russia developing murderous AI machines.

Moscow hardman Vladimir Putin believes the country will develop the best AI and become “the ruler of the world”.

Russian military eggheads are now building drones, robots and cruise missiles that could make deadly decisions without the need for humans.

The advancement has panicked US billionaire Eric Schmidt who said China was also gaining on the US and could overtake Washington in five years.

“It feels, as an American, that we are fighting this conflict with one hand behind our back” – Eric Schmidt




Bionics Turn Humans Into Super-Strong Workers And Soldiers

The race is on to develop various types of exoskeletons to turn ordinary human workers into supermen or superwomen. This technology was originally spawned by the military in their quest for super-soldiers on the battlefield.  TN Editor

Iron Man suits might not yet be commonplace, but companies from Ford (F) to Lowe’s (LOW) are testing new mechanical exoskeletons to enhance — and extend — human strength.

Earlier this month, Ford said it was testing four models of exoskeletal arms to help ease fatigue for assembly line workers.

Hyundai last year announced it was working on a wearable robot suit. And Germany’s Audi (VLKAY) began testing robotic assist technology for production plants in 2015. Universities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyto U.C. Berkeley are also developing technology, mostly inspired by potential medical use.

“My job entails working over my head, so when I get home my back, neck and shoulders usually hurt,” said Paul Collins, an assembly line worker at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, in a statement released by Ford. “Since I started using the vest, I’m not as sore, and I have more energy to play with my grandsons when I get home.”

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The potential for expansion into other industries like construction or loading and unloading of goods is becoming more realistic as scientists rethink older designs, Scientific American reported earlier this year.

The global market for bionic devices may rise to $12.1 billion by 2026, up from $3.2 billion last year, when the US had almost 40 percent of the global market, according to report from BCC Research earlier this year.

Ekso Bionics (EKSO) announced last week that it’s providing technology to Ford, a device called the EksoVest, and its stock has climbed since then. That’s even though it reported selling fewer units than some analysts expected when it released third-quarter results earlier this month.

The fledgling company, which listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange last year, has $33.44 million in cash, enough to fund operations for more than a year, according to its quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Massive US Military Spying Archive Left Wide Open In Cloud

Military intelligence is full of Technocrats who mine big data anywhere and everywhere that it can be found, in this case, it is from social media. Why does the military need to scrape and save billions and billions of social media postings?  TN Editor

Three misconfigured AWS S3 buckets have been discovered wide open on the public internet containing “dozens of terabytes” of social media posts and similar pages – all scraped from around the world by the US military to identify and profile persons of interest.

The archives were found by veteran security breach hunter UpGuard’s Chris Vickery during a routine scan of open Amazon-hosted data silos, and these ones weren’t exactly hidden. The buckets were named centcom-backup, centcom-archive, and pacom-archive.

CENTCOM is the common abbreviation for the US Central Command, which controls army operations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. PACOM is the name for US Pacific Command, covering the rest of southern Asia, China and Australasia.

Vickery told The Register today he stumbled upon them by accident while running a scan for the word “COM” in publicly accessible S3 buckets. After refining his search, the CENTCOM archive popped up, and at first he thought it was related to Chinese multinational Tencent, but quickly realized it was a US military archive of astounding size.

“For the research I downloaded 400GB of samples but there were many terabytes of data up there,” he said. “It’s mainly compressed text files that can expand out by a factor of ten so there’s dozens and dozens of terabytes out there and that’s a conservative estimate.”

Just one of the buckets contained 1.8 billion social media posts automatically fetched over the past eight years up to today. It mainly contains postings made in central Asia, however Vickery noted that some of the material is taken from comments made by American citizens.

The databases also reveal some interesting clues as to what this information is being used for. Documents make reference to the fact that the archive was collected as part of the US government’s Outpost program, which is a social media monitoring and influencing campaign designed to target overseas youths and steer them away from terrorism.

Vickery found the Outpost development configuration files in the archive, as well as Apache Lucene indexes of keywords designed to be used with the open-source search engine Elasticsearch. Another file refers to Coral, which may well be a reference to the US military’s Coral Reef data-mining program.

“Coral Reef is a way to analyze a major data source to provide the analyst the ability to mine significant amounts of data and provide suggestive associations between individuals to build out that social network,” Mark Kitz, technical director for the Army Distributed Common Ground System – Army, told the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association magazine Signal back in 2012.

“Previously, we would mine through those intelligence reports or whatever data would be available, and that would be very manual-intensive.”

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Scientists Urgently Call For Ban On Killer Robots

Technocrats build because they can, not because of a pressing social need and thus, autonomous killer robots are soon to be a household name. The video below is fictional, but the technology is thoroughly plausible. Since military and police forces are already investing heavily in this type of technology, it is certain to be in the hands of criminals and terrorists at some point.  TN Editor

The movie portrays a brutal future. A military firm unveils a tiny drone that hunts and kills with ruthless efficiency. But when the technology falls into the wrong hands, no one is safe. Politicians are cut down in broad daylight. The machines descend on a lecture hall and spot activists, who are swiftly dispatched with an explosive to the head.

The short, disturbing film is the latest attempt by campaigners and concerned scientists to highlight the dangers of developing autonomous weapons that can find, track and fire on targets without human supervision. They warn that a preemptive ban on the technology is urgently needed to prevent terrible new weapons of mass destruction.

Stuart Russell, a leading AI scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, and others will show the film on Monday during an event at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. The manufacture and use of autonomous weapons, such as drones, tanks and automated machine guns, would be devastating for human security and freedom, and the window to halt their development is closing fast, Russell warned.

“The technology illustrated in the film is simply an integration of existing capabilities. It is not science fiction. In fact, it is easier to achieve than self-driving cars, which require far higher standards of performance,” Russell said.

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The military has been one of the largest funders and adopters of artificial intelligence technology. The computing techniques help robots fly, navigate terrain, and patrol territories under the seas. Hooked up to a camera feed, image recognition algorithms can scan video footage for targets better than a human can. An automated sentry that guards South Korea’s border with the North draws on the technology to spot and track targets up to 4km away.

While military drones have long been flown remotely for surveillance and attacks, autonomous weapons armed with explosives and target recognition systems are now within reach and could locate and strike without deferring to a human controller. Opponents believe that handing machines the power over who lives and dies crosses a clear moral line.

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Russia’s New Robot Tank Will Outperform Humans

Once standardized, these robots could roll off assembly lines like automobiles; their application on the battlefield will automate the killing of humans by an order of magnitude over WWI and WWII. Technocrats invent because they can, not because there is a need.  TN Editor

The Russian military will field a new armed tank-like robot that “outperformed” manned platforms in recent exercises at the Alabino proving grounds outside Moscow.

That’s what Col. Oleg Pomazuev told the Russian news site “Military Review” in late October. Pomazuev runs the Department of Innovation Research at the Russian military’s Main Directorate of Research Activities, or GUNID.

The robot, called the Nerehta, can carry a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun or an AG-30M grenade launcher. The Russian colonel did not say which manned platforms the Nerehta outperformed, but among his service’s vehicles of similar size and armament are the BRDM reconnaissance vehicle and GAZ Tigr.

Russians are testing a wide variety of UGVs, from small IED-disposal robots up to large armed ones, said Samuel Bendett, an associate research analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses’ International Affairs Group.

“They have also been stating for a while that their modernization and state armaments program will include high-tech and unmanned systems,” Bendett said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=WDUPM4BBkJ8

He noted that Russian forces tested small unmanned ground vehicles, including the Nerehta-like Platforma-M during last September’s Zapad-2017 exercises in Belarus.

The Russian military has also created a larger semi-autonomous tank called the T-14, which sports a remotely operated turret.

Half a world away, unmanned ground vehicles are also on the mind of Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the U.S. Army. Trends in autonomy and robotic battle systems are proceeding faster than many realize, Milley said Tuesday at the Army’s CyCon event in downtown Washington, D.C.

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Homeland Security Warns Of Weaponized Drones And Aviation Threats

Weaponized drones in the hands of terrorists are frightening, but remember that it was the Technocrat-heavy military establishment that developed the technology in the first place. This has sparked a massive arms race throughout the world, and is naturally trickling down to terrorists.  TN Editor

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an updated terror bulletin on Thursday highlighting the threat of weaponized drones, chemical attacks and the continued targeting of commercial aircraft.

“We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts,” reads the bulletin.

The National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin, which replaced the old color-coded system, is used to give the public and local law enforcement a summary about ongoing and potentially new terror threats.

“The current bulletin introduces unmanned aircraft systems as potential threats and highlights sustained concern regarding threats against commercial aviation and air cargo,” said DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton in a statement.

There’s been an “uptick in terrorist interest” in using unmanned aerial systems as weapons in the United States and other western countries, according to a senior DHS official.

These tactics have been used by terrorists on the battlefield, and the department wants to “guard against those tactics being exported to the west,” said the official.

The official said that DHS wants to be “forward leaning” about seeing what terrorists are doing overseas and tactics they might adopt in the future.

Since the last bulletin, concerns about terrorist targeting aviation sector have grown, said the official.

“[T]errorists continue to target commercial aviation and air cargo, including with concealed explosives,” reads the updated bulletin.

DHS has been implementing wide-ranging security measures for all airports and airlines that fly directly to the U.S. In June, the administration announced “enhanced screening” of passengers and their electronic devices, as well as “seen and unseen” security around the aircraft and inside the airport.

Terrorists still see “aviation as the crown jewel target,” said former DHS Secretary John Kelly, now the president’s cheif of staff, at the time of the announcement.

The measures, which are being rolled out in phases, are aimed at detecting concealed explosives, insider threats and identifying suspicious passengers.

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Putin Warns Of Super Soldiers ‘Worse Than Nukes’ Who Feel No Fear

If governments need to regulate super-soldiers, that means that they will be the ones creating them as well. Technocrats who are  invading human DNA via CRISPR technology are practicing the worst form of eugenics ever seen on the face of the earth.  TN Editor

Vladimir Putin has claimed genetically-modified super soldiers “worse than a nuclear bomb” could soon become a reality.

The strongman Russian President spoke to a crowd of students about the prospect of an army of trained killers incapable of feeling “pain or fear” much like the characters in 1992 action movie Universal Soldier.

The normally icy-veined Putin appeared scared at the prospect of super soldiers
Putin said scientists could create Universal Soldier-style supermen incapable of feeling fear or pain
He revealed that scientists are close to breaking the genetic code which would enable them to create “a human with pre-designed characteristics”.

Speaking at a youth festival in Sochi, Putin warned of the consequences of playing God with man’s genetic code, reports The Express.

He said: “A man has the opportunity to get into the genetic code created by either nature, or as religious people would say, by the God.

“All kinds of practical consequences may follow. One may imagine that a man can create a man not only theoretically but also practically.

The Kremlin strongman warned governments need to regulate the creation of super soldiers.

“He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret or pain.

“As you understand, humanity can enter, and most likely it will in the near future, a very difficult and very responsible period of its existence.

“What I have just described might be worse than a nuclear bomb.”

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