AI in government calls for more coordinated approach and leveraging partnerships, forum attendees assertNews
December 18, 2020
WASHINGTON. The Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI) and the Homeland Security and Defense Forum (HSDF) -- which held a virtual symposium in October 2020 it called "Artificial Intelligence: Transforming the Government Mission" -- released its report on the symposium, in which the participants conclude that the most critical aspect of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by the U.S. federal government is creating a secure supply chain and ensuring that security is built in from the beginning into the government’s IT infrastructure, including in agencies' hardware, software, and cloud services.
The symposium was attended by more than 180 speakers and stakeholders from government, industry, and the U.S. Congress.
The report -- which can be found at https://www.hsdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/AI-Symposium-report-FINAL-120420.pdf -- concludes that AI has the ability to transform the government mission, whether helping to respond to wildfires, matching adversaries on the battlefield, or reducing the burden of administrative tasks and that its use will only increase in the coming years. The success of AI applications in government, said attendees, depends a great deal on data governance, using clean data sets and having an understanding of data sources, and leveraging cloud and storage innovations to deliver AI capabilities to the mission operators at the edge.
The report also laid out some of the remaining security concerns surrounding AI systems and defense/homeland security: Advancing AI in government requires balancing security considerations, while advancing AI applications where appropriate. The U.S. government has gotten much better at approaching AI with efforts such as the creation of the JAIC at the Defense Department, appointing Chief Data Officers within federal agencies, and advancing bipartisan efforts in Congress around AI with input from academia. Using AI in govenment, military, and defense will require continued innovation from the private sector and a "whole-of-government" approach to understanding the possibilities and limitations AI presents.