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Digital Modernization

Deputy Defense Secretary Signs Documents to Implement Responsible AI Tenets

Responsible AI

Strategy and

Implementation Pathway

Deputy Defense Secretary Signs Documents to Implement Responsible AI Tenets

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, a two-time Wash100 winner, has signed papers to operationalize the Department of Defense’s foundational tenets for responsible artificial intelligence development.

In May 2021, Hicks published a memorandum outlining six tenets: RAI governance, warfighter trust, AI product and acquisition lifecycle, requirements validation, responsible AI ecosystem and AI workforce.

The new 44-page unclassified document titled “Responsible AI Strategy and Implementation Pathway” will reduce uncertainty and hesitancy in the DOD and allow developers to move faster, Hicks said in the document’s foreword.

RAI S&I includes brief descriptions of the DOD’s desired outcomes under each tenet. For instance, under the RAI governance tenet, the DOD wants to modernize processes for mitigating the unintended consequences of AI. 

The tenet also calls for the creation of clear mechanisms that AI developers can use to report potential concerns.

Under warfighter trust, the DOD wants all of its system operators to have an understanding of AI technologies’ capabilities and limitations.

The document is only intended to serve as a roadmap for AI. It is not focused on concepts that should already exist, including sound software engineering practices and robust data management.

RAI S&I names the Office of the Chief Digital and AI Officer as the organization in charge of the implementation and oversight of AI-related guidance and policy. 

The CDAO office is the successor to the Pentagon’s Joint AI Center. The DOD recently appointed former Lyft executive Craig Martell as head of the office. 

DOD Chief Information Officer John Sherman, a 2022 Wash100 winner, previously served as CDAO in an acting capacity.

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Category: Digital Modernization

Tags: artificial intelligence CDAO Craig Martell Department of Defense digital modernization John Sherman Kathleen Hicks Wash100