With drones and tiny sensors spreading across the planet, the US Army is worried that there’s simply too much information for soldiers to process.
So the ground-combat branch wants to hack troops’ brains, and develop new technologies and methods for pairing human beings and artificial intelligence. The idea is for the AI—”intelligent agent” is the term the Army uses—to process raw information, leaving the human soldier to do what they’re best at: make decisions, especially creative ones.
“In theory, intelligent agents will have parallel computational power that is much greater than that of humans,” Dr. Jonathan Touryan, a neuroscientist at the Army’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate in Maryland, said in an Army release. “In developing human-agent integration principles, we hope to accentuate the strengths of both while mitigating individual weaknesses.”
For its main human-AI integration effort, the Army teamed up with private industry and universities in California, Texas, Florida, and New York. The resulting Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliance began in 2010 and is scheduled to continue in its current form until at least 2020.