DARPA’s Impact on Artificial Intelligence


  • Scott Fouse Independent Technology Consultant
  • Stephen Cross Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Zachary J. Lapin Booz Allen Hamilton




The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) mission is to make pivotal investments leading to research breakthroughs that support national security. DARPA artificial intelligence (AI) programs have emphasized the need for machines to perceive and interact with the world around them; to frame problems and to arrive at solutions and decisions based on reasoning; to implement those decisions, perhaps through consultation with a human or another machine; to learn; to explain the rationale for decisions; to adhere to rules of ethical behavior defined for humans; to adapt to dynamic environments; and, to do all of this in real-time. In short, DARPA has always been interested in AI frameworks that integrate AI and computer science technologies, and the application of those frameworks to DARPA-hard problems. In this article, we describe the significant role that DARPA has played in the establishment of AI, and introduce six articles that explore DARPA’s Three Waves of AI.



How to Cite

Fouse, S., Cross, S., & Lapin, Z. (2020). DARPA’s Impact on Artificial Intelligence. AI Magazine, 41(2), 3-8. https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v41i2.5294



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