Booz Allen Lands $885 Million Artificial Intelligence Contract with Pentagon

Booz Allen Lands $885 Million Artiticial Intelligence Contract with Pentagon
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According to the senior VP at Booz Allen Hamilton Josh Sullivan, the US Department of Defense will use large-scale AI systems for the first time, which are expected to automate routine task and improve the work done by military members. The news stems from an $885M contract that will last five years.

Sullivan added that with the cutting-edge technology, the Defense Department would be in a better position to compete with countries like Russia and China. He went further to state that part of the move by the Department of Defense is to ensure that the government not only has the best technology but also uses it responsibly in services to the country’s warfighters and citizens.

For Josh Sullivan, using AI systems including neural networks that imitate the human brain could aid the Defense Department in going through the large volume of data related to various areas such as health care and national security. In fact, this undertaking can allow the freeing up of military members and soldiers in a bid to spot threats on the battlefield earlier as well as spend additional time with military patients and deal with issues that call for advanced contextual reasoning.

Today, hundreds of soldiers view video feeds from cameras and drones and in turn conduct object identification and basic labeling. An AI system leveraging neural networks can view 12 or 15 video feeds at the same time and recognize various objects like weapons, cars, and trucks. Sullivan emphasized this impressive feat by saying that it saves soldiers a lot of time and allows them to partake in other vital issues.

Although the particulars of the AI contract are still being crafted, Sullivan did not disclose if or how the recommended AI systems would be utilized in tracking and identifying potential drone targets.

Recently, Google sought the renewal of a Pentagon contract that had proven to be an internal debate surrounding the use of the company’s AI technology in spotting and tracking possible drone targets. According to Sullivan, the associated projects would be classified even though all the artificial intelligence initiative would undergo a review process intended to assess whether it satisfies the values and standards of Booz Allen.

AI systems also promise to assist military physicians in expediting growths like lung cancer lesions and minimizing the number of false positives that exist in health scans. Mr. Sullivan stressed this point by saying that on average cardiologists spend 20 minutes in the course of a patient visit trying to highlight areas of the heart’s photographic images.

Sullivan also revealed that the contract would assist in expanding AI-related pilot programs, particularly those that are ongoing at the Defense Department. They include utilizing AI to identify new methods for curing traumatic brain injuries and rapidly measuring main indicators of heart disease.

The General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center granted the multi-million contract to Booz Allen. The GSA operates as an independent agency working within the government to monitor services and supplies for other federal offices such as the procurement for business information technology.

Source WSJ

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