Satnews Daily
September 25th, 2018

Human-Machine Teaming Gains Funding from DoD for U.S. and UK Collaborative and Innovative Project

The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced the selection of an academic team comprised of researchers from the U.S. and United Kingdom for the Bilateral Academic Research Initiative (BARI).

The awarded team is led by Dr. Maryam Shanechi at the University of Southern California for the U.S. and Dr. Riccardo Poli at the University of Essex for the U.K.

The U.S. research team will receive up to $3 million of U.S. DoD funding over three years, and the U.K. research team will receive up to £1.5 million from the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) core research portfolio over the same time period.

BARI, a pilot program, supports high-risk basic research as a bilateral academic collaboration. BARI’s inaugural year focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and collaborative decision-making. Specifically, BARI sought proposals that build new frameworks for AI agents to more truly team with human counterparts.  BARI also aims to support academic teams from the U.S. and U.K. to combine unique skill sets and approaches and provide rapid advances in scientific areas of mutual potential interest to both countries.

BARI is jointly sponsored by the Basic Research Office in the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.K. MOD. The project will be managed by subject matter experts from a joint service team from the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Office of Naval Research as well as from the U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.

Executive Comment

Dr. Bindu Nair, the Deputy Director for Basic Research, said that the awarded team has proposed an innovative approach to create novel frameworks for humans and machines to be effective, collaborative teammates. In addition to its scientific potential, this team also represents an important collaborative effort in the long tradition of U.S.-U.K. partnerships.

Dr. Kate Griffin, deputy head Portfolio Commissioning for Defense Science and Technology (DST) in the U.K. MOD concurred and added that the awarded team’s proposal is scientifically ambitious and represents a truly integrated bilateral research team.