The Department of Defense Posture for Artificial Intelligence: Assessment and Recommendations
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
- Tarraf,Danielle C.
- Carew,Diana G.
- Harris,Benjamin N.
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Section 238e of the National Defense Authorization Act of fiscal year2019 directed the senior official within the Department of DefenseDoD with principal responsibility for coordinating artificial intelligenceAI activities for DoD to complete a study on AI topics. In December 2018, the director of the DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center JAIC asked the National Defense Research Institute NDRIat the RAND Corporation to conduct an independent assessment of DoDs posture in AI in the spirit of the study on AI topics legislated in Section 238e. After consultation with the congressional staffers responsible for drafting the legislation, the RAND NDRI team distilled the congressional language into three key objectives for the study 1 to assess the state of AI relevant to DoD and address misconceptions 2 to carryout an independent introspective assessment of the posture of DoD in AI and 3 to develop recommendations for internal actions, external engagements, and legislative actions to improve DoDs posture in AI. In keeping with the language of the legislation, the RAND NDRI team collected insights into these three questions through semi-structured interviews with experts within DoD, other federal agencies, academia, relevant advisory committees, and the commercial sector. The team augmented this broad input with an independent review of the portfolio of DoD investments in AI, a set of historical case studies, reviews of relevant literature, and the technical and other expertise resident in the team to arrive at the findings and recommendations presented in this report and associated annex, aligned with the three key objectives of Section 238e as distilled above.