US defense department to set up $1.7 billion Artificial Intelligence Centre

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Advances in AI will likely change the nature of warfare (Pic - US DOD)

The US Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on issued a memo officially establishing the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) which oversees everything pertaining to the U.S.’s national security and armed forces will have JAIC serving as the military’s AI center, housing the DoD’s 600 or so AI projects. 

 
According to a request the DoD submitted to Congress in June, the center will cost an estimated $1.7 billion over the next six years.

In his memo, Shanahan notes that advances in AI will likely change the nature of warfare and that the military needs a new approach to AI that will allow it to rapidly integrate any advances into its operations and way of fighting.

The Deputy Defense Secretary believes the military’s AI center could help in those efforts by focusing on four areas of need: 

  • Helping the military execute its National Mission Initiatives (NMIs). These are large-scale AI projects designed to address groups of urgent, related challenges.
  • Creating a DoD-wide foundation for the execution of AI. This would mean finding a way to make any AI-related tools, data, technologies, experts, and processes available to the entire DoD quickly and efficiently.
  • Improving collaboration on AI projects both within the DoD and with outside parties, such as U.S. allies, private companies, and academics.
  • Working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to determine how to govern and standardize AI development and delivery.

The establishment of an AI center by the US government only goes to show that it sees AI as an inevitable part of the future of war, it wants to be the best at implementing it. As Shanahan wrote in an email to DoD employees, “Plenty of people talk about the threat from AI; we want to be the threat.”

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