JCF 101 - The Basics

  • By: JAIC
JCF 101

What is the JCF platform, and why is it important?

The Joint Common Foundation (JCF) is essentially the framework underlying the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) mission. It will provide the development, test, and runtime environment and the collaboration, tools, reusable assets, and data that developers need to rapidly and securely build, refine, test, and field AI applications at scale across the Department of Defense (DoD). As such, any standards, prototypes, processes, systems, and best practices developed within the JCF will be repeatable in other projects.

What will be the key components of the JCF?

The JCF components will help AI development and test teams access key resources, speed their efforts, and leverage what others are already doing with AI development. These components are as follows:

  1. AI Development Environments
  2. AI Tools and Platforms
  3. AI Data Sets and Services
  4. AI Product Services
  5. AI Expertise and Collaboration Services
  6. AI Security Services/DevSecOps

What are the specific benefits the JCF will provide to the DoD?

By using the JCF to help build AI-enabled applications and models, the DoD will be
able to:

  1. Increase the speed of AI adoption and delivery
  2. Scale access to AI
  3. Enhance sharing of AI resources and expertise
  4. Protect AI activities and assets
  5. Minimize the cost of AI development
  6. Enhance mission effectiveness through AI

What are the JCF’s Guiding Principles?

During all design, implementation, and operational activities, the JCF will:

  • Focus on capabilities and services to facilitate DoD AI community interconnection, sharing, and collaboration—NOT on standardizing the entire DoD on a single AI environment.
  • Provide users and stakeholders with the freedom to manage and conduct their AI activities within the DoD AI ecosystem as they see fit.
  • Span multiple domains, classifications, and cloud/compute environments—all the way to the tactical edge.
  • Identify, prioritize, and evolve its capabilities and services based on the needs and preferences of the Mission Initiatives (MIs) and other JCF users and stakeholders.
  • Incorporate and leverage commercial and open source AI tools, services, and platforms to the greatest extent possible so that they can operate in the DoD Information Network (DoDIN).
  • Use modern, agile DevSecOps best practices.
  • Use an open source philosophy such that all DoD AI stakeholders have access to the JCF software baseline and can contribute their extensions back to the JCF software baseline.
  • Ensure that security is always of paramount consideration.