In the commercial arena, many tech futurists are predicting how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will completely upend certain industries. But how will this major technological shift impact our nation’s defense strategies?
According to Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, the Director of Defense Intelligence for the Defense Department (DoD), AI and machine learning will enable the algorithms to do the “rote work,” while humans can focus more on strategic decision-making efforts.
Shanahan leads the DoD’s Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), an effort to bring AI and machine learning solutions to solve problems in the defense space. Also called Project Maven, AWCFT was launched April 2017 by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work to accelerate the department’s integration of big data, AI and machine learning into DoD programs.
As highlighted in this recent DoD article, Project Maven is on track to deliver the first algorithms to warfighting systems by the end of 2017. The team is already developing proposals to take on the next set of challenging intelligence projects. The ultimate goal is to have AI and machine learning built into any defense system that is procured by the DoD.
Speaking at an event hosted by NVIDIA last week, Shanahan discussed the hurdles that exist within the DoD to bring this vision to life. These include people, governance, methodology and technology, but work is already being done with the help of a small group of industry members who are helping to build these algorithms.
For helping to push the DoD into the future of innovation, we are naming Shanahan as this week’s GovTransformer. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.