US DoD to leverage AI to improve disaster relief efforts

24 August 2020 (Last Updated August 24th, 2020 15:52)

The US Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled plans to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to improve disaster and humanitarian relief efforts.

US DoD to leverage AI to improve disaster relief efforts
Vehicles assigned to the 878th Engineer Vertical Construction Company, 105th Engineer Battalion, drive through flooded roads and debris on the way to assist stranded civilians on Oak Island. Credit: Sgt Lisa Vines.

The US Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled plans to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to improve disaster and humanitarian relief efforts.

As part of the move, the DoD is partnering with other agencies to develop AI-based algorithms to provide real-time data to first responders and expedite the decision-making process.

Microsoft and the Energy Department are part of this initiative.

DoD chief technology officer Michael J Kratsios said that five consortiums were launched to develop the necessary technology that will help in mitigating the impact of natural disasters and save lives.

The research and development work is already underway.

Microsoft chief federal technology officer Susie Adams noted that the work will also be shared with global partners of the US.

Adams added: “AI and machine learning enable solutions never thought possible. AI is a tool to augment human intelligence, not replace it.

“It’s about getting data to the right people at the right time as quickly as possible so they can make better-informed decisions.”

Microsoft has been engaged in the development of AI technology for 25 years. Currently, it has 1,000 researchers for AI work.

White House deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell also acknowledged and extended its support for the move.

Last week, DoD selected five local companies for the delivery of commercial drones to the military and government agencies, as it seeks to reduce reliance on imported items.

The five companies are Vantage Robotics, Skydio, Parrot, Teal and Altavian.