March 01, 2019

USAF’s AI Transformation Takes Off

BY AMY MCCULLOUGH

The National Defense Strategy predicts artificial intelligence could transform the battlefield of the future, changing the “character of war” in ways not yet imagined.

Explosive growth in commercial AI technologies, fueled by advances in microprocessors, cloud computing, and their combined ability to rapidly assemble and analyze vast data sets, has set off a revolution in commercial markets. AI now directs traffic, routes packages, answers customer queries, and anticipates consumer demand. Its military applications are also endless.

“Structurally, we know AI has the potential to be an enabling layer across nearly everything,” Dana Deasy, the Defense Department’s chief information officer, told the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities panel in December. “It means the opportunity to positively transform every corner of the department, from innovative concepts that change the way we fight, to improvements in the way we maintain our equipment, perceive our environment, train our men and women, defend our networks, operate our back office, provide humanitarian aid, and respond to natural disasters.”