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DOD AI Industry Day Fosters Relationships with Industry, Academia

November 29, 2018

This report originally published at defense.gov.


In its continued efforts to develop and deploy artificial intelligence to address some of the nation’s toughest defense challenges, the Defense Department, in coordination with Army Research Lab, hosted its second AI Industry Day yesterday.

More than 600 attendees from 380 industry, academic and government organizations participated in the event in Silver Spring, Maryland, to discuss the department’s progress in AI and identify partnership opportunities.

Dana Deasy, DoD’s chief information officer, discussed the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center established earlier this year.

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“DOD is open for business in AI,” Deasy said. “Our goal is for the JAIC to have and deliver the capabilities to solve very large, unique problem sets that touch multiple services. To this end, we’ll build out data sets, infrastructure and tools that the [Defense Department] components can use.”

Accelerating Adoption of Capabilities

The center will help DOD accelerate the adoption of AI-enabled capabilities, scale AI’s departmentwide impact and synchronize the department’s AI activities to expand joint force advantages.

Although JAIC is in its early stages, officials said, it is already composed of about 25 representatives from across the Defense Department. Ultimately, the JAIC is building toward a distributed model, with a main office in the national capital region and satellite locations to leverage and foster innovation districts throughout the United States.

During the event, Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan, director of defense intelligence for warfighter support, provided an update on the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team’s work on Project Maven.

 “AWCFT used the last year to deliver initial operational capabilities and apply lessons learned to improve subsequent capability deliveries,” Shanahan said. “We have come a long way, and the partnerships we forged with industry and academia have been essential to success.”

Project Maven is a fast-moving effort launched in April 2017 to accelerate the department’s integration of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning into DOD intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programs.

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