When asked by Congress what is the DoD's most urgent technology need, Secretary Esper responded that it is Artificial Intelligence (AI). "We have to get there first" Secretary Esper said. In the most recent episode of our "Think Differently" webcast series we invited four thought leaders from the DoD and industry to discuss how we can optimize AI at the DoD: Josh Marcuse, Head of Strategy and Innovation for Google’s Global Public Sector; Jen Sovada, Chief Futures Officer at MissionTech Solutions; Anthony Robbins, President AFCEA DC and VP NVIDIA; and Kim Kendall, who leads DAU’s Artificial Intelligence/Adaptive Learning initiative.Their overarching message was that we must understand what AI is, why, how and where to use it to strengthen our national security ahead of our adversaries.
According to Accenture, AI is " the broad term used to describe the set of technologies that enable machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn. The history of artificial intelligence is often traced back to the 1940s and 1950s, when scientists and mathematicians began discussing how a mechanical device could be used to imitate the human process of mathematical deduction." Stanford Professor and AI expert, Andrew Ng, calls AI "the new electricity" that has sparked the 4th industrial revolution.
AI is critical to national security because it has the potential to completely transform warfare in all domains. As Secretary Esper said "Future wars will be fought not just on the land and in the sea, as they have for thousands of years, or in the air, as they have for the past century, but also in outer space and cyberspace, in unprecedented ways. AI has the potential to transform warfare in all of these domains"
As the DoD continues to ramp up learning and using AI, here are a few use cases:
The US AirForce is already using AI to harness terrabytes of data, iterate and make faster OODA loop decisions. To do this the US Air Force has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where embedded Airmen learn to apply AI , field capability and accelerate outcomes.
The Army is exploring AI with combat applications including shooting down drones, aiming tank guns, coordinating resupply and maintenance, planning artillery barrages, stitching different sensor feeds together into a coherent picture, analyzing how terrain blocks units’ fields of fire and warning commanders where there are blind spots in their defenses are all military applications for which the Army will test AI.
The US Navy and Marine Corps are exploring AI in future autonomous weapons systems and combat technologies in routine noncombat processes.
At DAU, we are exploring AI/machine learning to adapt and personalize courses to each learner so that learning is more efficient and tailored to individual moments of need. DAU also is using Natural Language Processing capabilities offered by AI assistants such as Alexa to make learning and information available to students hands free.
You must begin now! We have curated a few assets to help you get started.
Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)
Defense Innovation Board
National Security Commission on AI
Artificial Intelligence for the American People
T-Minus AI by USAF Capt. Michael Kanaan
The Big Nine by Amy Webb
Life 3.0 Being Human in the age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
Articles & White Papers:
Summary of the 2018 Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Strategy
Congressional Research Service: Artificial Intelligence and National Security
National Security Commission on AI: The Role of AI in Pandemic Response and Preparedness: Recommended Investments and Initiatives
Defense Innovation Board: Recommendation 5: Catalyze Innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
JAIC: A road map to getting AI-ready
JAIC: Artificial Intelligence: A game changer and a decisive edge
How is USAF using AI to speed up the OODA Loop
Joint Artificial Intelligence Brief
A conversation with JAIC Director Lt.Gen John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan
Building the AI Ecosystem for National Security
Harnessing Artificial Intelligence: Center for Strategic and International Studies
DAU in collaboration with the Stephens Institute of Technology is offering a series of 9 rapid deployment training webcasts on AI, Digital Engineering and Data Analytics every Thursday 12:30 pm -2:00 pm ET from July 9 to Sept 3, 2020. Each session awards up to 1.5 CLPs. Registration not required. For more details click here.
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