Who will lead the world in artificial intelligence?
Elaine McCusker and Emily Coletta
A new report emphasizes why it is urgent that the Department of Defense and Congress work together to modernize the way defense programs and budgets develop, integrate and deploy the latest technologies in support of American national security. Released by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a federal body created to review and recommend ways to use artificial intelligence for national security purposes, the report recommends the use of AI to update America’s defense plans, predict future threats, deter adversaries and win wars.
Because AI will be “incorporated into virtually all future technology,” it is easy to recognize that national security threats and opportunities posed by AI should be a catalyst for necessary changes to defense requirements and resourcing processes. In an AI-enabled world, the Defense Department will be unable to modernize the way it recruits talent, trains the force, develops and integrates technology, and funds all of these elements without internal culture shifts and help from Congress.
“Unless the requirements, budgeting and acquisition processes are aligned to permit faster and more targeted execution, the U.S. will fail to stay ahead of potential adversaries.” This blunt recommendation to the Defense Department under the heading “Accelerate Adoption of Existing Digital Technologies” makes clear the urgency for cultural and structural updates to the way the department currently does business.