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DoD Announces New Battlefield AI Initiative

July 6, 2021
Enhanced AI capabilities will help commanders and combatants to deal with an ever-increasing amount of data on the battlefield.

This Microwaves&RF article is reprinted here with permission.

The modern soldier must manage more data and electronic devices than ever before. For that reason, explained U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, the modern soldier must trust in the effectiveness of artificial intelligence (AI) to effectively process data from the electronic devices into logical responses. Speaking recently as a “virtual” member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Tech Exchange, Hicks explained that DoD operators must trust in the outputs of AI systems, including the legal, ethical, and moral foundations of the AI: “A key part of an AI-ready department is a strong data foundation. Data enables the creation of algorithmic models, and, with the right data, we are able to take concepts and ideas and turn them into reality.”

Hicks pointed out that the DoD will do what is required to achieve AI technology superiority: “We will ensure that DOD data is visible, accessible, understandable, linked, trustworthy, interoperable and secure. To do so, I have directed key initial steps to ensure the department treats data as a strategic asset.” She explained what to expect from AI: “Today, I am proud to announce the DoD AI and Data Acceleration initiative, or ADA initiative. Its goal is to rapidly advance data and AI dependent concepts, like joint all-domain command and control, to the ADA initiative [to] generate foundational capabilities through a series of implementation experiments or exercises, each one purposefully building understanding through successive and incremental learning.”

The DoD’s pursuit of more advanced AI capabilities includes the creation of operational data teams that will work to catalog, manage, and automate data feeds to help with decision-making actions (see the figure). By multiple teams working together, new sustained data relationships will help combatant commands streamline and automate workflows though the use of AI. The DoD will use data from the various data teams to update its own network infrastructure for more efficient operation.

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