Air Force issues strategy for artificial intelligence

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors form the 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd Wing participate in a total force exercise at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Feb. 28, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo Senior Airman Anthony Nin Leclerec)

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The Air Force has publicly released its strategy for artificial intelligence, building onto the ongoing work at the Pentagon level.

The strategy is meant to be an annex to the Department of Defense’s AI strategy in support of its Joint AI Center. It will serve as a mechanism to align the Air Force with the larger AI efforts across the department and leverage the JAIC‘s progress as an AI center of excellence.

The technology “is crucial to fielding tomorrow’s Air Force faster and smarter, executing multi-domain operations in the high-end fight, confronting threats below the level of open conflict and partnering with our allies around the globe,” write acting Secretary Matthew Donovan and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein in the introduction to the dual-signed strategy. AI, they say, will “underpin our ability to compete, deter and win” across all five of the Air Force’s missions: air and space superiority; global strike capability; rapid global mobility; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and command control.

The goal is to provide “fundamental principles, enabling functions, and objectives necessary to effectively manage, maneuver, and lead in the digital age,” the document says. The strategy is framed around five driving focus areas:

  1. Drive down technological barriers to entry.
  2. Recognize and treat data as a strategic asset.
  3. Democratize access to artificial intelligence solutions.
  4. Recruit, develop, upskill, and cultivate the workforce.
  5. Increase transparency and cooperation with international, government, industry and academic partners.

Each of those areas also has corresponding lines of effort and objective that go into more detail on what the service looks to accomplish to support the adoption of AI in the near term.

“Every Airman in the field, staff member at higher headquarters, or unit working with an industry partner has a responsibility in transforming our five core missions through the use of AI,” the strategy says. “The Air Force cannot effectively execute missions in today’s complex security environment without embracing these technologies and delivering capabilities to our Airmen.”

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Air Force, artificial intelligence (AI), Gen. David Goldfein, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), Matt Donovan, Pentagon
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