AI in DOD: Three Places to Get Started

Stephanie Meloni

By Stephanie Meloni, Market Intelligence Manager

The Department of Defense is considering artificial intelligence for everything from improved maintenance and repair of weapons systems to supply chain management and improving business processes. Industry can expect to see exponential growth once implementation takes off.

Consider Project Maven, for example. The DOD’s AI solution for analyzing imagery for intel purposes, has seen funding grow from $16 million in fiscal 2018 to $93 million in fiscal 2019 — a 480 percent increase!

Central to DOD’s AI implementation efforts is the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. JAIC was created quickly to ensure that DOD effectively and ethically builds out its AI capabilities. The organization will look at AI cross-domain solutions across the service branches, as well as specific component projects.

The center is looking at including solutions for humanitarian assistance, ISR, GEOINT, force protection, cyber and robotic process automation. Low hanging fruit among these initiatives is using AI to improve logistics and supply chain management. According to DOD CIO Dana Deasy, JAIC is “open for business,” so now is the time to get involved with their projects.

Besides JAIC, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Defense Innovation Unit will also be working on AI projects. Service branches will also be looking at piloting AI efforts of their own in the next year, especially in supply chain and logistics management.

Even if technology companies do not necessarily offer solutions specific to AI or machine learning, they can still participate in this growing DOD trend. That’s because AI is really about datadata quality, collection, integration, cleansing, protection and storage—as well as data architecture to support and enable AI. JEDI, DOD’s planned enterprise cloud, is often mentioned alongside AI, as DOD will need to depend on having the right infrastructure set up to make the data needed for AI algorithms accessible.

For that reason alone, technology companies should frame their solutions as AI enablement tools, from laying the infrastructure for an architecture that better supports AI, assisting with data integration, quality and collection or improving data accuracy and reporting.

Whatever type of technology or services you offer, consider how it can help DOD achieve AI success by getting your customers ready for the coming data revolution.

 

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This blog is adapted from an article I wrote for Washington Technology magazine. The full article can be found here.

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