DARPA budget up 10% but AI program cut 17%

February 5th, 2008

A Wired article, DARPA Nabs Big Bucks for Mach 6 Planes, Giant Robotic Blimps, Next-Gen Networks, summarizes the news in the proposed 2009 DARPA budget.

“DARPA, the Pentagon’s mad science division, got a $324 million boost in the Defense Department’s new budget — a ten percent increase. Which means lots more cash for giant blimps, next-gen wireless networks, Mach 6 planes, shape-shifting drones, and improvised bomb-beaters. … But not everything in the DARPA budget got bumped up. The agency’s much-ballyhooed efforts at “Cognitive Computing” took at $30 million cut, to $145 million. Which could mean that even the Pentagon’s most wide-eyed visionaries see thinking machines are still far, far off in the distance.” (link)

DARPA has traditionally been an important funding source for basic computer science research. While the ORCA program got a healthy increase of $53M, this is the only CS-related program mentioned.