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A Look Into CDAO’s Efforts to Enhance the DOD’s Data Reservoir

Established in June 2022, the Department of Defense’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office is focused on laying the foundation for the development and implementation of AI technologies across the department. Since its creation, the CDAO has demonstrated success in a number of its objectives.

The Potomac Officers Club will feature CDAO Chief Technology Officer Dr. William Streilein as the opening keynote speaker at its 5th Annual AI Summit on March 21, 2024. During the event, AI experts from both the public and private sectors will come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities for AI use within the federal government.

Click here to learn more, and click here to register.

Streilein spoke at the 4th Annual AI Summit, where he emphasized that AI, while capable of great achievement, “cannot do anything without data.” He highlighted data quality as one of the CDAO’s five “big plays” for its approach to AI. 

“Quality does not just mean that all of your fields are filled in. It does not just mean that there is no noise. It means everything from where the data comes from to its use by a consumer,” he said.

The CDAO has continued to honor this mindset as it progresses its mission. In May, the office released a mandate on data quality, which described the concept as “the foundation for trusted analytics and AI.” It also noted that data quality relies on successful standards and policies that keep data secure while also accessible for the right people.

A recent step forward in the CDAO’s data enhancement journey was the DOD’s November release of the collaborative Data, Analytics and AI Adoption Strategy, which aims to strengthen governance, create a federated infrastructure, empower joint warfighting, advance the data, analytics and AI ecosystem, upgrade data management and develop digital talent. Data quality is a cornerstone of the strategy, serving as a base for each of these objectives.

The CDAO is responsible for leading the strategy’s implementation, and its responsibilities include working with other DOD organizations while making recommendations and reviewing the plan annually.

Just weeks later, the CDAO reached a key milestone in its execution of the DOD Responsible AI Strategy and Implementation Pathway when it delivered an RAI toolkit that includes guidelines for modular assessments and future AI development. A key pillar of this strategy is the department’s focus on transparent and traceable data.

Within its first year of operation, the CDAO pushed forward in the Maritime Object Collection project, which gathered 27 terabytes of data from Coast Guard Air Stations, annotated thousands of images and kicked off its AI development program. The office also completed a step of Project Harbinger that focused on industry partnerships as a means to develop machine learning algorithms and explored the use of overseas open source information through the Publicly Available Information initiative.

Don’t miss out on the chance to hear more about the CDAO’s approach to AI implementation! Click here to register for the 5th Annual AI Summit.

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