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Sourcing Artificial Intelligence from Industry: What is Real [and What Isn’t]?
The development and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies by the US military, and the ramifications of their adoption, has been the subject of many recent articles in both the popular as well as academic literature. Much of what has been said about them is speculative and even sensationalist, especially in regards to AI-enabled weapons. While at one time the US Department of Defense (DoD) was the driving force behind American science and technology research, and perhaps it still is in the case of certain niche technologies, there is no question that university and private sector research are advancing the state-of-the-art in AI, and the DoD is following behind. To that end, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of DoD AI technologies are sourced from industry using a combination of traditional acquisition vehicles, as defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, as well as non-traditional engagements, for example via the Defense Innovation Unit in Silicon Valley. In this talk I will summarize a number of recent public Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to industry coming out of the DoD. I will use these RFIs and RFPs as a means to gauge the ‘state’ of AI in the DoD. My goal is to gain insight into what the DoD is actually trying to do with AI from amidst the public’s imagination and fear of what is possible, in order to better inform the public debate over AI ethics, governance, and other ramifications.

Oct 14, 2020 11:30 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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