United States: the latest news about the Pentagon’s AI and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center


Artificial intelligence in the defense sector is a topic that is gradually making its way into France: at the end of April, the ethics committee of the Ministry of the Armed Forces presented its opinion on lethal weapon systems and in July, the Ministry signed a partnership with Preligens. One of the most advanced countries on the subject remains the United States whose partnerships, collaborations and advances around AI are multiplying, whether with Microsoft, with the presentation of its “ethical principles”, or with the introduction of quantum computing . ActuIA offers you a focus on the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) and its latest advances.

What is the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center?

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) is the center of excellence in artificial intelligence (AI) of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). JAIC’s goal is to drive digital transformation of the DoD and the military by accelerating AI adoption and achieving large-scale digital impact. Its approach has several objectives:

  • Defend U.S. critical infrastructure from malicious cyber activity that, alone or as part of a campaign, could cause a significant cyber incident.
  • Establish a common baseline that enables decentralized execution and experimentation.
  • Evolve partnerships with industry, academia, allies and partners.
  • Cultivate a leading AI workforce.
  • Lead in ethics and safety in military AI.

JAIC intervenes and delivers its AI advancements through two components: national mission initiatives (NMIs) where JAIC responds to AI and machine learning challenges across multiple defense sectors, and component-based mission initiatives, which focus on a particular sector and provides support in a number of ways: funding, data management, common bases, maintenance, etc.

Steering an AI procurement process that meets the Pentagon’s ethical and responsible principles

Among the latest advances proposed by JAIC, the center announced the piloting of a responsible procurement process with the goal that its AI-enabled services can comply with the Pentagon’s “ethical principles.” Alka Patel, head of responsible AI at JICA, explains the value of this development:

“The development of a tactical and responsible AI procurement process is critical to creating the necessary safeguards aligned with our AI ethics principles and further implementing them against the Deputy Secretary of Defense’s stated principles of responsible AI.”

The Responsible AI Procurement Pilot is intended to advance responsible AI within DoD. It will establish clear guidance and expectations for those who wish to work with the DoD to ensure they are providing responsibly designed, developed, deployed, and used AI systems. Will Roberts, chief procurement officer at JICA, states:

“For DoD to rethink its acquisition practices and process, it is critical that JICA engage with partners to enable accelerated adoption and scaling of AI in the enterprise in a responsible manner.”

Leveraging artificial intelligence to design a multi-service “war machine”

One of the goals of JAIC is to harness artificial intelligence to design a multi-service or multi-tasking war machine. For example, instead of sending images via individual video feeds to a ground control centre, an unmanned aerial vehicle such as a drone could find strategic enemy targets, analyse variables and send actionable intelligence to multiple locations in seconds, all using AI.

The goal would be to combine AI data analysis with real-time military action. Information-based detection and AI-enabled data analysis are then, by design, fused with so-called “kinetic” options such as missiles, rockets, guns, bombs, and other weapons (not necessarily lethal such as drones for example) to complete the chain of destruction in front of an enemy.

JAIC Director Lt. Gen. Michael S. Groen commented on the utility of such an application of AI:

“If we can make good decisions and have informed decision makers, we think that’s the most important application of artificial intelligence. And then we’ll go on from there to implement other features. The list is endless: we can move logistics successfully around the battlefield, understand what’s going on based on historical patterns and precedents, understand the implications of weather or terrain, on maneuvers, all of these things can be assisted by AI.”

Translated from Etats-Unis : les dernières nouvelles autour de l’IA du Pentagone et du Joint Artificial Intelligence Center

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