Department’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy and Implementation Pathway Maps the Journey to a Trusted AI Ecosystem
- By: CDAO Public Affairs
Deputy Secretary of Defense (DSD) Kathleen Hicks has signed the Department’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy and Implementation Pathway(RAI S&I Pathway), which guides the Department of Defense’s (DoD) journey to its goal of a trusted artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem. The DoD must transform itself into an AI-ready organization, with responsible artificial intelligence (RAI) as a prominent feature to maintain its competitive advantage.
As Secretary of Defense Austin stated, "Responsible AI is the place where cutting-edge tech meets timeless values. You see, we don't believe that we need to choose between them, and we don't believe doing so would work. Our use of AI must reinforce our democratic values, protect our rights, ensure our safety, and defend our privacy."
The RAI S&I Pathway is the Department’s way ahead for ensuring a trustworthy AI ecosystem to develop and accelerate AI. The DoD’s AI mission is to build robust, resilient, and reliable AI systems while concurrently being a leader and advocate in the global dialogue on AI ethics. This guidance instills and operationalizes the DoD AI Ethical Principles through the RAI Implementation Tenets of RAI Governance, Warfighter Trust, AI Product and Acquisition Lifecycle, Requirements Validation, and the AI Workforce. This holistic approach details the goals, key lines of effort, and an initial set of tools to strengthen each area.
This journey began in 2018 with the National Defense Strategy’s call for using “AI in a lawful and ethical manner to promote our values,” along with the Congressional mandate to “develop appropriate ethical, legal, and other policies for the Department governing the development and use of artificial intelligence.” The DoD formally adopted the DoD AI Ethical Principles in February 2020―the first military in the world to do so. To help implant RAI across the Department, the JAIC published the DoD AI Education Strategy in September 2020. Since this time, RAI has been educated and trained to DoD personnel at every level. On May 26, 2021, the DSD reaffirmed the DoD’s commitment to RAI and directed “the Department’s holistic, integrated, and disciplined approach for RAI” implementation in accordance with its RAI Implementation Tenets, upon which the Pathway was built.
What Does Responsible AI Approach Mean?
The RAI S&I Pathway furthers the DoD’s commitment to responsible behavior, processes, and outcomes in pursuit of AI acceleration. Ultimately, it delivers the DoD’s strategic approach for advancing RAI, while at the same time promoting operational agility, safeguarding capability deployment, and supporting scalability. Given this achievement and others, the Department is primed to traverse the long road to military modernization, while ensuring the confidence of America’s citizens and global partners.