DARPA fuels big AI research with hefty funding this year.


  • DARPA is funding key AI projects focused on human-machine teams, AI reasoning, and autonomous AIs that follow ethics principles.
  • Important AI programs include REMA, ASIMOV, Access in AI and Human-Machine Symbiosis, and Air Intelligence Reinforcements.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is requesting increased spending in its most recent budget request for key AI projects. These projects focus on human-machine teams, AI reasoning, and highly autonomous AIs that adhere to the Defense Department’s ethics principles. One of the key programs DARPA is looking to fund in FY 2025 is the Rapid Experimental Missionized Autonomy (REMA), which aims to enhance drones with autonomous operation capabilities. Another program called Autonomy Standards and Ideals with Military Operational Values (ASIMOV) will test how well autonomous weapons follow safety and ethics principles.

One of the main themes among the AI programs receiving funding this year is human-machine interaction, or “symbiosis.” Programs like Access in AI and Human-Machine Symbiosis will focus on making chatbots capable of realistic and positive dialogues. DARPA also aims to improve AI reasoning and communication through large language models. Additionally, DARPA is looking to automate tactical control tasks with the Air Intelligence Reinforcements (AIR) program to transform pilots into high-level mission commanders and enable unpiloted vehicles to perform missions with minimal human oversight.

Previous DARPA funding in AI led to advancements like Siri, which impacted the commercial world. Therefore, the advancements in AI technologies funded by the military could shape the field for decades to come.