Raytheon has started work on the development of machine learning technology in order to create trust between human operators and artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

The company is developing the technology under a $6m contract awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Competency Aware Machine Learning programme.

As part of the deal, Raytheon will develop new systems that will be able to communicate information.

Raytheon BBN Technologies Categorical Abstract Machine Language (CAML) principal investigator Ilana Heintz said: “The CAML system turns tools into partners. It will understand the conditions where it makes decisions and communicates the reasons for those decisions.”

The system makes use of a process that is similar to that in a video game, offering a list of choices and identifying a goal instead of rules. It will repeatedly play the game and learn the most effective way to achieve the goal.

It will also record and explain the conditions and strategies used to come up with successful outcomes.

Heintz added: “People need to understand an autonomous system’s skills and limitations to trust it with critical decisions.”

After the system develops these skills, it will be applied to a simulated search and rescue mission by the team.

The conditions surrounding the mission would be created by users, while the system will make recommendations and give information about its competence to them in those particular conditions.

Last December, Raytheon introduced a military training simulator as a proposed solution to meet the requirements of the US Army’s Synthetic Training Environment.