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DOD’s AI-Based Coronavirus Tool May Be Used for War, Leaders Say

Artificial intelligence

DOD’s AI-Based Coronavirus Tool May Be Used for War, Leaders Say

The artificial intelligence tool developed by the Department of Defense for coronavirus response can be used as a basis for creating AI for war, according to department officials.

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center's coronavirus effort, called Project Salus, was focused on creating a command-and-control system through predictive logistics. 

“With Project Salus, one of the key things that we pivoted on was the ability for us very quickly — in a couple weeks — to get a base product that really didn’t have a great looking [user interface] or other pieces there, but had the core functionality in the hands of NORTHCOM leaders," said JAIC acting Director Nand Mulchandani, a past Potomac Officers Club speaker.

Through Project Salus, JAIC provided Northern Command leaders with the AI tools they need to foresee shortfalls in food and medical supplies. 

The logistics tool was not designed as a war-fighting platform by has helped JAIC identify how best to support the Pentagon's Joint All-Domain Command and Control effort

Army Col. Brad Boyd, JAIC's chief of joint war-fighting operations, said the lessons learned from Project Salus essentially serves as a roadmap for achieving JADC2.

“When the commander sees the value — ‘Hey, I can re-task people from this effort over to this effort because you’ve helped me automate some of these processes’ — then it gives us a real victory," Boyd said.

DoD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy, a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker and a two-time Wash100 winner, hailed JAIC's work on Project Salus as an example of how the defense enterprise needs to operate to succeed in the future. 

“I believe the true long-term success of the JAIC will depend on how the organization adapts and delivers real-world solutions when the strategic landscape and priorities change," Deasy said. 

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Tags: Brad Boyd C4ISRNET Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy Department of Defense JADC2 JAIC Joint All-Domain Command and Control Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Nand Mulchandani Project Salus Speaker News U.S. Northern Command