Pentagon’s AI Center Steers International Forum to Advance Military Tech Cooperation

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An official gave Nextgov a glimpse into what was discussed.

Artificial intelligence-ready data was a primary point of discussion this week among military and defense delegations from 13 nations that connected in a two-day exchange hosted by the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

They met for the nascent center’s second Partnership for Defense, or PfD, dialogue. 

Through the recurring gatherings, JAIC officials noted Wednesday, “like-minded defense partners” link up to share “policies, approaches, challenges, and solutions in adopting AI-enabled capabilities”—and help improve cooperation and interoperability between their militaries. 

The first of these sessions, held last September, honed in on producing and executing defense-centered ethics principles. The Defense Department unveiled its own slice of AI ethical principles months earlier, which JAIC officials are now working to apply across the entire enterprise and embed in emerging tools. 

During this latest dialogue, participants continued conversations about carrying out responsible use and safety measures throughout AI product lifecycles but also placed a sharp focus on “the importance of data in the AI delivery pipeline,” according to the release. Those involved offered up their own approaches to governance and informed perspectives on data readiness. 

Additionally, the release said representatives participated in “scenario analyses” to pinpoint core hurdles and offer potential solutions to advance AI-enabled interoperability.

“The scenario analyses addressed the broad data challenges that defense organizations come across from the back office to the front lines,” the JAIC's Public Affairs Officer Lt. Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson told Nextgov Thursday. “The PfD members also discussed challenges and solutions in ensuring data is accessible, useful, and AI-ready when dealing with both large and small data sets.”

Members representing military and defense delegations from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom took part. It’s possible that new nations will become a part of this original group down the line, but Abrahamson said “the founding partners will discuss how and when other states could join over the coming months.” 

He added that future meetings will occur this year, the dates for which will be announced “in due course.” 

“Through these dialogues we are advancing our shared interests in artificial intelligence that will impact the future of defense cooperation among our nations,” the JAIC’s Head of International AI Policy Stephanie Culberson said in the release.