US military plan to create huge autonomous drone swarms sparks concern

The AMASS project would involve thousands of drones, on the ground, in the air and in the water, working together in a “swarm of swarms” to overwhelm enemy defences

Technology 2 February 2023

A swarm of drones in the sky

Swarms of drones in the sky would autonomously work with others on the land and in the sea as part of a new Pentagon project

Andy Dean Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

A new Pentagon project envisages automated, coordinated attacks by swarms of many types of drones that operate in the air, on the ground and in the water. The idea is raising concerns about whether human oversight of such a “swarm of swarms” would be possible.

The Autonomous Multi-Domain Adaptive Swarms-of-Swarms (AMASS) is a project from US defence research agency DARPA. Most details are classified, but …

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