Dana Deasy, CIO of the Department of Defense, provided an update on the progress at the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) at GDIT Emerge today, including the initial project with a production version out to the service branches.

Deasy noted that the JAIC has multiple efforts underway, with efforts on AI starting to bear fruit on one of the first efforts: aiding in predictive maintenance for the Black Hawk 860.

“We have actually already delivered, approximately three weeks ago, version 1.0 of this algorithm to SOCOM [Special Operations Command] that they’re using on the Black Hawks, and you’re going to see it be delivered to the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy,” said Deasy.

Currently, Black Hawk 860s in sandy environments can get sand stuck in their engines, which turns to glass and leads to accelerated wear and tear.

Following closely behind the JAIC’s effort to support disaster relief efforts – a mission that may get away from the battlefield, but one that Deasy emphasized as vital to the department.

“At the heart of one of the things DoD needs to do is save lives, and we do that through humanitarian disaster relief efforts – it’s core to the mission set of the DoD,” he noted.

With recent wildfires in California and flooding in North and South Carolina, the JAIC is developing AI to support improved mapping of both wildfires and floods.

“What we looked at was, could we use AI to actually map the fire line, teach the machines what a fire line actually looks like with the intensity and the direction, and in doing that, can we then actually send to handheld devices on the firefighter, that they get a real-time response of the nature of what’s going on with the fire line?” asked Deasy.

With JAIC’s success and collaboration with Federal and local agencies, the first production model is coming soon. A similar project, which maps the advance of floodwaters and provides details on where people live and where important assets are located, is also well on its way, with version 1.0 “in the very near-term,” Deasy said.

Looking towards the future for the JAIC, Deasy noted that the expansion in the center’s workforce, from 3 employees in December to a goal of 70 by the end of the year, will enable more projects and an iterative approach to existing algorithms.

Deasy noted that the JAIC is currently scoping out a project on using AI on cybersecurity data, with a focus on insider threats. Looking to the future, the department is looking at potential collaborations with VA to prevent veteran suicides, and internal efforts to improve operational planning and enable predictive medicine.

Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.