Software company Accrete AI just showcased its powerful new Argus dual-use anomaly detection AI agent this week, which the Department of Defense (DoD) is already putting to use in helping it map illicit activity around the globe.
The public unveiling of the anomaly detection AI occurred recently at SOF Week 2023, an annual conference held jointly by U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and industry leaders in Tampa, Florida.
At this year’s event, Accrete AI announced that its powerful AI will allow the U.S. military and Special Operations communities to go beyond human intelligence gathering capabilities and “gain the information advantage.”
“Argus is a highly configurable dual-use anomaly detection analytical AI Agent,” reads a statement on the company’s website, “that continuously analyzes the open-source web, in multiple languages, to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight.”
Capable of assessing and understanding large volumes of data available online, the learning capabilities of Argus allow it to search “everything from news and social media to company filings and microprocessor manuals,” allowing it to “predict supply chain influence, software vulnerabilities, logistics resilience, viral mis/disinformation, insider threats,” and other potential challenges to U.S. national security.
Prashant Bhuyan, founder and CEO of Accrete AI, said in a statement that his company is “thrilled to have successfully deployed Argus into production with the DoD.”
“We’re committed to advancing Argus’ capabilities to bolster national security,” Bhuyan added, “and empower our country to win in a new era of threats such as misinformation, deep fakes, and viral influence.”
Previously, Accrete AI had identified itself as a commercial partner of the DoD, as well as the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the U.S. Air Force on its website.
In its 2021 annual report, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) reported that it had partnered with an unnamed “leading AI firm” specializing in the use of natural language processing “to develop a custom threat detection platform that automates the collection and processing of more than 30 million pieces of open-source information to identify attempts by U.S. adversaries to infiltrate critical national security supply chains.”
The 2021 report stated that the capabilities enabled by the DIU’s integration of AI “has enabled DoD to identify, track, and map illicit activities at a speed and scale that is three times faster than what human analysts could perform,” while ensuring levels of accuracy consistent with past efforts carried out by DoD personnel.
“Armed with this new capability, DoD has already searched and analyzed millions of records and identified dozens of Chinese technology investment firms with illicit operations across the globe,” the report said, in addition to obtaining critical information on exposing the networks and methods utilized by those firms.
The Pentagon also said that several of these Chinese firms had “sought partnerships with U.S. companies while obscuring their real identities to escape U.S. sanctions and restrictions.”
The company’s presentation of Argus this week followed a recent announcement by the DoD that it had awarded $10 million for the establishment of a new institute that will promote “unified research in artificial natural intelligence” co-funded with the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Part of the new institute’s mission will involve the pursuit of “designs of more capable and trustworthy AI,” along with a more complete understanding of the human brain.
In recent days, many leaders in science and technology industries have warned about possible unforeseen consequences that could emerge from the misuse of AI or resulting from unpredictable outcomes that may emerge due to presently unforeseen intentions and motivations that a future autonomous AI system could possess.
Dr. Bindu Nair, Director of the Basic Research Office in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, said in a recent DoD statement that AI is transforming virtually every aspect of our world.
“As our understanding of artificial intelligence grows, it has transformed the fields of biology and neuroscience, even as our understanding of cognition in nature informs advances in AI research,” Nair said.
Presently, the DoD says that its partnership with Accrete has proven to be invaluable in detecting anomalies that could represent national security challenges.
“Accrete’s ability to automate contextual understanding from massive amounts of data to better understand adversary intent is a challenge faced across the supply chain risk management community,” read a statement attributed to the Defense Department appearing on the company’s website.
“Accrete has demonstrated that modern data analytics techniques can outperform current methods… in identifying potential foreign intelligence adversary influence in the Department of Defense supply chain,” the DoD statement adds.
“This solution is relevant to many Defense Department organizations.”
Micah Hanks is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of The Debrief. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his work at micahhanks.com and on Twitter: @MicahHanks.