The US Army wants to use more AI in its everyday operations — but not for combat

 A hand reaching out to touch a futuristic rendering of an AI processor.
Credit: Shutterstock / NicoElNino

The US Army wants to incorporate commercial private-sector AI algorithms into its operations in order to improve efficiency and productivity, but it’s clearly worried about the ongoing security risks associated with the technology.

Speaking at the recent AWS Washington DC summit, Young Bang, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology, emphasized the efficiency of adopting existing AI tools over creating new ones from scratch.

The US Army is reportedly most excited about the technology’s potential to process its extensive data reserves, where it can handle huge amounts of data in seconds.

The US Army wants to use off-the-shelf AI

Among the six branches of the US armed forces, the Army is the most prolific users of AI and algorithms, driven by its data-rich environment. This data dependency underscores its desire to speed up processing and handling with a handy injection of AI.

However, despite AI’s clear benefits, the transition isn’t without its challenges. Security concerns, including biases, hallucinations and the potential for compromised data, need careful consideration.

Consequentially, the Army plans to issue a request for information to the private sector for solutions, rather than tackling the risks internally.

Bang summarized to the AWS audience: “This is the Army saying we need your help.”

While specific details on the request for information timeline remain unclear, a spokesperson confirmed with Washington Technology that a series of requests would follow in the coming months.

Although the US Army has a knack of doing “certain things really well,” Bang suggested that the private sector is best primed to help in this scenario.

As work continues to automate some of the US Army’s processes, the armed force continues to evaluate and respond to adoption obstacles in preparation for the day commercial AI gets turned on for the US Army.

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