Summary of the 2018 Department of Defense AI Strategy

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy directs the DoD to accelerate the adoption of AI and the creation of a force fit for our time. A strong, technologically advanced Department is essential for protecting the security of our nation, preserving access to markets that will improve our standard of living, and ensuring that we are capable of passing intact to the younger generations the freedoms we currently enjoy.

AI is rapidly changing a wide range of businesses and industries. It is also poised to change the character of the future battlefield and the pace of threats we must face. We will harness the potential of AI to transform all functions of the Department positively, thereby supporting and protecting U.S. servicemembers, safeguarding U.S. citizens, defending allies and partners, and improving the affordability, effectiveness, and speed of our operations. The women and men in the U.S. armed forces remain our enduring source of strength; we will use AI-enabled information, tools, and systems to empower, not replace, those who serve.

Realizing this vision requires identifying appropriate use cases for AI across DoD, rapidly piloting solutions, and scaling successes across our enterprise. The 2018 DoD AI Strategy, summarized here, will drive the urgency, scale, and unity of effort needed to navigate this transformation. The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) is the focal point for carrying it out. As we systematically explore AI’s full potential, study its implications, and begin the process of learning about its impact on defense, we will remain thoughtful and adaptive in our execution.

We cannot succeed alone; this undertaking requires the skill and commitment of those in government, close collaboration with academia and non-traditional centers of innovation in the commercial sector, and strong cohesion among international allies and partners. We must learn from others to help us achieve the fullest understanding of the potential of AI, and we must lead in responsibly developing and using these powerful technologies, in accordance with the law and our values.

As stewards of the security and prosperity of the American public, we will leverage the creativity and agility of our nation to address the technical, ethical, and societal challenges posed by AI and leverage its opportunities in order to preserve the peace and provide security for future generations.

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