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NDAA Signing Into Law Beneficial to JAIC, Says Greg Allen

Greg Allen

Chief, Strategy

and Communications, JAIC

NDAA Signing Into Law Beneficial to JAIC, Says Greg Allen

Greg Allen, chief for strategy and communications at the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said JAIC will stand to benefit if the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 is signed into law.

The bill, besides providing the center its own board of advisers and allow the organization to move up its status in the Department of Defense hierarchy, will grant JAIC acquisition authority.

This, Allen said, will help JAIC move faster and more effectively in terms of procurement processes, C4ISRNET reported Tuesday.

“If you have your own acquisition authority, then you are probably your own top priority,” he said in a recent Removing Stovepipes webinar with C4ISRNET. “Of course, the contracting offices that we leverage, some of them are terrific partners, but they also have a larger customer base than just the Joint AI Center.”

With the authority, JAIC is expected to obtain contract vehicles that are critical to the artificial intelligence initiatives throughout DOD. The center is interested in acquiring the technology related to testing and evaluation capabilities. He said some components are unique and specific only to AI projects.

“But many aspects of them are common across different types of efforts, whether that’s a computer vision effort, a natural language processing effort, or some other type of AI-enabled capability,” he said.

Allen said JAIC was formed to be DOD’s core for AI strategy and transformation, making major contributions in the past two years.

When the organization began in 2018, there were few projects that it attempted to use AI in an operational sense such as Project Maven. The remaining AI programs at DOD were mainly at the basic research phase without the intention of applying it operationally.

Allen noted that JAIC’s goal is to help drive the transformation across the entire department. It has been identifying the number of policy barriers to overcome to fast-track the use of AI.

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