RAIN SPOTLIGHT: INFLUENTIAL LEADERS IN VC + DEFENSE

Download Extract RAIN Spotlight: Influential Leaders in VC + Defense A RAIN+ Venture Capital in Defense Directory Extract The emerging role of venture capital in spurring defense innovation is driven by a number of key individuals working at VC firms. They have mixed backgrounds in business, technology and the defense and intelligence sectors. The combined expertise of these individuals in founding technology companies, running businesses and understanding the military’s requirements enables VC firms to drive innovation in defense. This report extract highlights the background of these individuals and the role they play in the VC + Defense sector.The Influential Leaders in VC +...

Militarisation of the Stratosphere White Paper

This white paper provides a short history of the militarisation of the stratosphere and great power competition, tracking key developments from the 1990s until the present. It also analyses the military significance of the two main classes of high-altitude UAVs: High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) and High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) platforms.

Startups Enter the Stratosphere as HAPS Market Grows

Following decades of research and development, High-Altitude Platform Systems, or HAPS, are emerging as viable solutions for connectivity and remote sensing. As HAPS technology matures, many promising startups are entering the market. RAIN's Nexus Data Lab calculates that the total number of HAPS projects in active development increased from 4 in 2013 to 23 in 2021. Eight of the companies (42 per cent) entering the market were startups. Many startups joined the HAPS market even as several big players withdrew, such as Facebook and Google. Google's parent company Alphabet announced the winding down of its Project Loon in 2018, while Facebook...

Why is there so much debate about artificial intelligence and ethics?

There has always been debate about scientific and technological innovation. Today, as artificial intelligence looks set to change forever the ways humans and machines interact, increased autonomy is one of the biggest prizes of this revolution - most people can see how transformative self-driving cars could be for our big cities. In the defense sector, however, this increased autonomy is at the heart of an ongoing ethical debate. The crux of this dilemma can be summarised in three questions: First, human control. How much human control are we willing to give up? Do we allow a machine to take decisions over...

Can machines become a moral agent?

As AI systems become more and more autonomous, there is a recurrent ethical question about whether machines could become moral agents. This question is essentially about whether a machine could distinguish between right and wrong, and whether it could take calculated moral decisions based on this distinction. At RAIN ETHICS we like to think about this in two ways:  First, machines could be programmed to make certain ethical decisions. In this case, the moral agency basically remains with the programmers or those responsible for the use of the machine. The machine would simply follow the rules and instructions with which it has...

Why is everybody so scared about killer robots?

When it comes to the discussions about the ethics of AI, killer robots are never far off. Many people seem to think that the biggest threat from AI is the arrival of swarms of slaughterbots, killer drones or Terminator-like killing machines. Part of this scare probably comes from popular culture. From films like Robocop and Monsters of Man, in which robots that are designed with the best intentions, go rogue.  It is true that artificial intelligence and particularly machine learning now provides unprecedented opportunities to increase the autonomy of weapons. It is logical that people are worried that machines could end...

The world of ethics and AI

Entering the world of ethics and AI for the first time can be a daunting experience. The subject matter in fact truly represents a world on its own, a complex mosaic of many actors and tribes, and all with their own languages. It is an ecosystem that depends on but also changes rapidly with the fast-moving pace of technological innovation and evolution. It is not the first time in history that technological change is difficult to understand and to keep track of, yet artificial intelligence, and especially machine learning, do bring unprecedented complexity about how future technology can work and...