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Greek defense startup backed by venture capital bets on AI against war

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Every year, EU member states spend hundreds of billions on their defense budgets. However, conflicts such as war in Ukraine show that Europe is still far from secure.

And even if the continent’s response has always been to invest massively in its defense capabilities, certain solutions may prove less costly and more effective. Greek defense startup Lambda Automata has a solution: It’s building AI-driven systems for autonomous surveillance, reconnaissance, and superhuman situational awareness.

Founded by Greek technologists Dimitrios Kottas, a former senior engineer at Apple, and Georgios Kontogiannis, a veteran software engineer, venture capital-backed Lambda Automata aims to transform the way EU member states use their defense capabilities existing. The founding duo is also joined by founding engineer Thodoris Ntakouris and hardware engineer Ioannis Souriadakis.

According to Dimitrios Kottas, the main problem that Lambda is trying to solve is to fill the void in terms of computer vision and AI for software deployed in critical applications for civil protection or defense applications.

“Existing software solutions do not fully utilize the sensors, pixels and transistors already deployed in the field. This results in a tedious manual cycle to exploit, extract information and assemble this information, for the myriad of sensors deployed in the field. Our vision is to accelerate this cycle to machine speed,” says Kottas, co-founder and CEO of Lambda.

Thus, the company’s first pilot product is called “Outpost”, an autonomous surveillance tower making it possible to classify, geolocate and communicate events of interest at machine speed.

This venture capital-backed Greek defense startup is betting on AI to prevent war conflicts, TheRecursive.com

Outpost is our entry-level pilot product, so we’re demonstrating our technology to real field operators and solving real problems right now. Our first paid installations concern the early detection of fires, thanks to automatic optical recognition and the localization of smoke piles. We chose to start with the civil protection market, given its less stringent requirements (e.g. certifications) and faster cycle than defense applications. At the same time, we are testing our technology in the field for more defense-oriented specifications. Dimitrios Kottas tells The Recursive.

Lambda Outposts can be installed in remote locations without infrastructure while operating at a fleet level, enabling detection of large areas with minimal personnel. The hardware and software are vendor agnostic and support an ever-expanding set of sensors to provide an “autonomy upgrade” for the myriad of legacy systems already deployed that are manually operated.

Build your team and deploy key solutions for the civil protection market

Earlier this month, Lambda Automata’s project was backed by Greek VC Marathon. The amount of the deal was not disclosed, but The Recursive’s source says it was a seven-figure investment. According to Marathon, the Greek defense startup is now on a mission to help Europe and its allies maintain their strategic autonomy and ensure the sovereignty and ethical use of future AI defense platforms.

“In a global environment where threats are increasingly materializing, we are proud to work with Lambda Automata to help ensure the integrity of Europe and its allies. We invested because Lambda Automata is committed to working with freedom defenders to accomplish their missions. And we invested because defending freedom is the primordial duty of any liberal society,” Marathon said in a press release.

The defense startup now plans to use its first round of funding, to demonstrate some of its core technological capabilities, hire key talent and deploy turnkey solutions for the civil protection market.

“At the same time, we are looking to invest in some key testing grounds (for example, a large outdoor drone arena) to lay the necessary foundations for our future plans,” Lambda CEO told The Recursive.

For Kottas himself, the deployment of such solutions can also play a key role in preventing future conflicts.

“Upgrading the deterrence capabilities of the EU, US and their allies using cost-effective, software and AI-based solutions, rather than convoluted monolithic programs spanning decade, will be essential to deter future conflicts. It’s a great but exciting mission,” concludes Kottas.

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