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New bill requires US military to measure AI effectiveness

Written by Thu 14 Oct 2021

U.S. Army Soldiers and radar

Introduced on September 30 by Republican Senator Mike Rounds, the Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Metrics Act instructs the US military to monitor a range of metrics related to how well artificial intelligence is being incorporated into operations.

According to a report from Nextgov, which has seen the five-page Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Metrics Act, government officials would need to establish well-defined performance goals when new technologies are deployed, if the bill passes.

A “comprehensive review of skill gaps in the fields of software development, software engineering, knowledge management, data science, and [AI],” will be carried out by each military department secretary and head of each DOD subcomponent, as reported by Nextgov. Once these gaps are identified, the right number of staff should be recruited and trained across the organisation within the DOD.

Administrative functions, too, are due to be assessed as part of the requirements of the bill, with DOD human resources, logistics, health care and human resources functions also seeing how AI can be implemented more deeply. The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently reviewing the bill.

“As our adversaries become increasingly sophisticated in integrating AI into their military capabilities – we need to do the same,” Rounds told Nextgov. “This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) must prioritize enhancing DOD’s use of evolving advanced technology,”

The Department of Defense has made efforts in the past to stay competitive with other nations when it comes to AI. In 2018, the Department of Defense launched the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to ensure that AI operations are unified in all areas of the defence and military ecosystem.

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, established by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, also analysed advances in AI and other technologies and said new measures should be introduced in wargames and other military exercises.

Written by Thu 14 Oct 2021


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