Australia’s Defence forces want to use artificial intelligence to enrich their data systems with civilian sourced data, and to enhance their virtual reality modelling and simulations.

The federal government on Tuesday announced a $10 million investment in artificial intelligence for the Defence forces. The money will go to Australian business to develop “new AI applications” for Defence’s Information and Cyber, Maritime, Air, Space, and Land domains.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced the investment as part of a $32 million boost to Australian industry over the next two years, aimed at speeding up the COVID-19 recovery. 

Australia’s Head of Information Warfare is seeking solutions that use AI to enrich or automate components of Intelligence Mission Data as well as AI augmented virtual reality for Defence modelling, simulation and training. 

Civilian Data

According to the Joint Capabilities Group’s Challenge Statement, Defence wants AI solutions to enrich its Intelligence Mission Data (IMD) using radio frequencies, including those from civilian or non military sources – what is known in Defence as  “white space”.

“Defence is seeking proposals focussed on civilian, non-military or commercial sources of information (white space) that contribute to accelerating or enriching IMD production, and also systems, applications, frameworks or methodologies that can be broadly applied to all IMD RF source categories.”

The statement encourages businesses with no prior Defence experience to participate, and specifically asks for businesses with experience providing radio frequency (RF) solutions for telecommunications, mining or space industries to consider submitting proposals.

Virtual reality AI

The Challenge Statement also calls for virtual reality and graphics applications that use AI.

“Defence is seeking VR and Graphics Applications that enhance realism and that are focussed on accurately modelling real-world objects, terrain and dynamics. In Defence applications, Virtual Reality (VR) and related Graphics Applications are employed for scenario/planning modelling, simulation, complex data visualisation, and training applications.”

AI can improve the modelling, simulation and training capabilities of the VR applications, according to the statement which also calls for solutions that provide a photorealistic modelling of “real world cities, towns, buildings, vehicles, aircrafts, ships, and other civilian or military objects”.

The money will be distributed through the Defence Innovation Hub, a Defence contract and  funding mechanism that plans to give Australian businesses $800 million over the next decade for cutting edge war technology.

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