Financial TimesFinancial Times

How Silicon Valley is helping the Pentagon in the AI arms race

By Tabby Kinder

31 Jul 2023 · 10 min read

For eight years, a docile fleet of bright orange, unmanned sailboats bobbed around the Bering Sea near Alaska, counting pollock and feeding data to the US government’s oceanic exploration agency.

Amassing an unrivalled database of ocean maps which could then be analysed by machine learning programs, the autonomous vessels made by Saildrone, a start-up founded in 2013 by young British engineer Richard Jenkins, made significant contributions to scientific research on climate change.

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