The Pentagon’s AI office must “cannibalize” itself to keep running, Martell says

The U.S. Defense Department’s artificial intelligence office is weakened by a lack of appropriations from Congress and must scrap some efforts to preserve others, its chief said.

“We have to cannibalize some things so we can keep other things alive” Craig Martellthe Defense Department’s chief of digital and artificial intelligence, or CDAO, told reporters on February 22.

Congress has yet to pass a full defense budget for fiscal year 2024, which began Oct. 1, even as the Biden administration prepares its spending plan for fiscal year 2025. At least 40 continuing resolutions or bills have been introduced since 2010. the interruption financing.

That history of funding uncertainty hurts talent and training initiatives, as well as what’s known as artificial intelligence scaffolding or virtual infrastructure that makes models usable, accurate and relevant to the military, Martell said.

“That kind of behavior, being nimble, sitting next to the operator, building and growing, building and changing, building and iterating, is very difficult, if not impossible, to do under the conditions of an ongoing resolution,” he said. on the sidelines of the Defense Data and AI Symposium in Washington.

The Defense Department has sought $1.8 billion for artificial intelligence in 2024. The department is juggling hundreds of AI-related projects, including some related to major weapons systems such as Common light tactical vehicle and the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle, the Government Accountability Office said.

Although CDAO is relatively new — having been announced in 2021 and taking its first steps in 2022 — it’s not hard to make a case for its existence and spending, according to Martell, who previously worked in machine learning at Lyft and served an associate chair of Information Technology at the Naval Postgraduate School.

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The public and private sectors are increasingly interested in artificial intelligence and other pattern recognition capabilities, and digital competition with China lies ahead. The Department of Defense’s connectivity campaign, known as Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control, also depends on data and analytics developments made by CDAO.

Martell said he sees budget fights as a normal part of the give and take in Washington.

“I don’t take the continuing resolution to be slightly against us,” he said.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration – specifically Cold War decommissioning and nuclear weapons development – ​​for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award winning photographer.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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