Military Embedded Systems

AI as national-security focus in DARPA project


November 07, 2022

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

AI as national-security focus in DARPA project
U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley

ARLINGTON, Va. A new effort led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is focusing on gathering innovative artificial intelligence (AI) approaches that can help adults learn complex topics necessary for the current and future national security workforce, including workers in AI engineering and cybersecurity/cyberdefense. 

The U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD) assert that AI lies at the core of the global technological revolution; the DoD's 2020 Education Strategy states that “the future of AI in the DoD relies on the Department’s ability to build and develop a workforce for the digital era.”

DARPA has invited technologists, researchers, students, teachers, and creators of digital learning platforms or cutting-edge AI techniques to propose AI tools or technologies that can address the critical challenges facing adult learners, saying that successful tools for this effort will aim to create customized learning experiences that improve training of new skills in adults who have completed postsecondary education.

Joshua Elliott, AI Tools for Adult Learning program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, says of the effort: “As technology advances and economic conditions shift, so will the skills necessary for America’s workforce and our military. In addition to a post-pandemic economy, the need to improve access to education and upskilling for historically marginalized learners is more important than ever. AI tutoring could dramatically improve learning success, particularly in increasingly common remote and self-directed learning environments.

"There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the power of tutoring as a means to teach all learners quickly and effectively, and yet, programs that rely on human tutors are costly,” Elliott explains. “Recent advances in AI have made way for computer-based tutoring systems that use AI to personalize instruction in real time based on learner responses. These systems have the potential to drastically reduce the cost of high-quality tutoring, and therefore increase access for all learners.”

For more information about AI Tools for Adult Learning – including how to submit an abstract, eligibility requirements, registration access and more – please visit

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U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

675 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA 22203-2114

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400