DOD Devotes Resources to Responsible Adoption of Generative AI
On August 10, 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced the creation of Task Force Lima, which will focus on generative artificial intelligence (AI) responsibility and strategy issues. The task force announcement follows several DOD actions to ensure that AI tools are developed responsibly and in a coordinated manner. In February 2020, DOD adopted five ethical principles for AI development. In June 2022, DOD established the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) with the goal of integrating and optimizing AI capabilities across DOD. In addition to introducing the foundation of defense AI systems and establishing five strategic initiatives for DOD’s path to AI-enablement in FY2023, the CDAO has experienced tangible success by increasing DOD personnel’s digital literacy and integrating AI models into maritime target detection and business performance metrics.
Led by the CDAO, Task Force Lima will build on those previous initiatives with a specific mandate to “assess, synchronize, and employ” generative AI tools into DOD’s operations to strengthen internal processes and enhance national security. The task force will be responsible for coordinating AI development across DOD, with the Intelligence Community, and with other federal agencies to avoid redundancy and mitigate risks. The task force will also be focused on protecting national security interests and data integrity as adversaries deploy their own AI systems.
Task Force Lima may come as no surprise to government contractors who have witnessed DOD’s increased interest in acquiring AI systems. The task force’s creation serves as a reminder to government contractors interested in taking advantage of this booming area that DOD will expect any AI product to adhere to its ethical and responsible development principles. Whether it is requiring software bills of materials from the contractors, an accounting of data used to train the AI model, validation that data has been accurately labeled, or even insight into algorithms, government contractors should expect DOD to require a certain level of transparency regarding the AI tools it seeks to buy during this push to expand DOD’s AI capabilities.