Kitware Wins DARPA Contract to Develop Artificial Intelligence Systems that Adapt to Novel Conditions

April 7, 2020

Clifton Park, N.Y. (April 7, 2020) – Kitware Inc., a leader in developing advanced computer vision technologies, has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office for the Science of Artificial Intelligence and Learning for Open-world Novelty (SAIL-ON) program.

The goal of SAIL-ON is to enable our military’s artificial intelligence (AI) systems to detect novel conditions for which they have not been trained and to automatically adapt to those new conditions. Through this program, Kitware will help develop intelligent systems that go beyond “close-world problem solving” and evolve into adaptive systems that can address new and fluid challenges our military might face in the real world, such as an adversary’s unexpected actions or fluctuating weather.

According to Dr. Anthony Hoogs, Senior Director of Computer Vision at Kitware and the Principal Investigator on the effort, “Existing AI systems and algorithms have great difficulty extrapolating beyond the data on which they were trained because they do not have an explicit concept or representation for unknown unknowns. In the real world, however, unknown unknowns occur frequently and present significant challenges in military domains. Our goal is to develop algorithms that detect when they have encountered something new and to quickly adapt models to recognize this new entity in the future with state-of-the-art performance. Systems enabled by such open-world AI will be much better equipped to handle unexpected conditions in the real world.”

For the program, Kitware has assembled a team that includes Professor Terrance Boult at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Professor Walter Schierer at the University of Notre Dame, both of whom have been internationally recognized for their research in open-world AI and related areas. The program is planned for 3.5 years, with an initial phase of 18 months.

Learn more about Kitware’s computer vision expertise and how it can be leveraged to benefit your research by visiting

This material is based upon work supported by DARPA under Contract No. HR001120C0055. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of DARPA.

About Kitware Inc.

Since 1998, Kitware Inc. has focused on advancing the frontiers of understanding by developing innovative open source software platforms and integrating them into research, processes, and products. With a wide range of capabilities, Kitware powers computer vision, data and analytics, scientific computing, medical computing, and software process implementation/management. Kitware provides expertise in these areas through customization services, support, collaborative research and development, training, and books. For additional information on Kitware, please visit

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