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Will Roper Wants to Transfer DOD’s Cornerstone AI Project to Air Force

Will Roper

Will Roper Wants to Transfer DOD’s Cornerstone AI Project to Air Force

Will Roper, the Air Force's assistant secretary for acquisition and a Potomac Officers Club member, said he plans to transfer the Department of Defense's artificial intelligence experiment over to the Air Force.

Called Project Maven, the experiment was launched in 2017 to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques for managing large chunks of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data generated by DOD and Intelligence Community platforms, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

“That boring part, the AI infrastructure, is what has been critically absent in the department, and we are finally doing it in the Air Force,” Roper said. 

Roper said the Air Force fits best for continuing Maven because of the service's strides in its Advanced Battle Management System family of systems.

ABMS includes the cloudONE cloud storage system, platformONE software builder, dataONE library and deviceONE classified data storage. 

"This family of ONE systems builds a tech stack that really is about getting data in proper custody so that analytics can be built on top of it and we can finally go do AI at scale,” Roper said. 

Roper added that through the ABSM, the Air Force has built an AI infrastructure that is robust enough for proper analyses. 

The assistant secretary also highlighted the Air Force's Distributed Common Ground family of systems, which he said acts as the service's operational AI at scale. 

The Pentagon has used Project Maven to deploy AI capabilities in locations in the Middle East and Africa. Machine learning techniques helped military analysts manage chunks of data gathered by sensors and drones. 

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Tags: Advanced Battle Management System artificial intelligence Breaking Defense cloudONE data analytics dataONE Department of Defense deviceONE platformONE POC member Popular Voices Project Maven U.S. Air Force U.S. Intelligence Community Will Roper