As the U.S. Department of Defense pushes for the department-wide adoption of advanced artificial intelligence technologies, military organizations are exploring ways in which it can be used to meet their specific needs. The Army has embraced the concept of AI with the establishment of strategies for its implementation and the launch of multiple programs dedicated to developing these capabilities.
AI is just one topic that may be explored at the Potomac Officers Club’s 9th Annual Army Summit, which is set to take place in June 2024. At last year’s edition of the event, key Army officials discussed AI and numerous other topics, including data, contested logistics and weapons development.
One key element of the Army’s AI journey is Project Linchpin, a program designed to build the foundation for future AI use in the areas of intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare.
In an interview with DefenseOne, Col. Chris Anderson, program manager for intelligence systems and analytics at Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, which oversees the project, said that the vast amounts of data intelligence analysts have to work with is “impossible to leverage in real time,” making it necessary to sort through it using models and algorithms.
Linchpin aims to address this issue by providing more functionality for AI use in the Army, which Anderson said often follows a goal-oriented approach without also focusing on the infrastructure necessary for the successful use of this technology.
The Army is also testing a variety of AI tools for different use cases. In August, the service branch began evaluating an AI-enabled social media technology that could potentially improve commander decision making.
Army Cyber Battle Lab Director Col. Brett Riddle said this tool, called Data Robot, could provide an “overlay” for commanders to use to make decisions.
Data Robot was one of 17 technologies the Army tested during the emerging technologies-focused Cyber Quest experiment.
Underpinning the Army’s approach to AI is the idea of cautious optimism. According to Young Bang, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, the service branch is “toying with the notion” of an AI bill of materials as it approaches the technology “from a risk perspective.”
The BOM would require contractors to share details about their AI algorithms so the Army can identify potential security risks.
Bang emphasized this mindset at the Potomac Officers Club’s 4th Annual Artificial Intelligence Summit in February 2023, where he discussed the importance of trusting and understanding industry AI tools used by military forces.
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