Pentagon Closing in on 'Ethical' AI Implementation

Jane Pinelis participates in a news conference at the briefing room of the Pentagon Sept. 10, 2020.

Jane Pinelis participates in a news conference at the briefing room of the Pentagon Sept. 10, 2020. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Defense Department released guidance for using AI responsibly last year.

The Defense Department is still finalizing an implementation plan for its artificial intelligence ethical principles, according to Jane Pinelis, the chief of AI assurance for the Defense Department's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said at an event on Tuesday. 

"So we are the first military to adopt the ethical principles for AI. Since then, multiple other nations have done so, and where we stand now with [chief digital and artificial intelligence office] is we're trying to move into implementation," Pinelis said during a panel discussion at the Atlantic Council on May 17.  

"So we have the five ethical principles at this point. We have [gotten] direction from the deputy secretary to advance them across six different tenets. But now we're moving into … implementation." 

The Defense Department released guidance for using AI responsibly in May 2021 after announcing a set of ethical principles the year before.  

Pinelis said the implementation plan, which is awaiting the deputy defense secretary's signature, would be a "formal pathway forward" that tasks "various organizations in the Department of Defense with very specific actions as far as actually putting these principles into practice."

Many of those tasks, she continued, overlap with testing and evaluation but there are many pieces that require everyone across DOD to take some responsibility.

"Responsible AI is, kind of, everybody's job in the department," Pinelis said. "And so there are pieces of it that have to do with international allies. There are pieces of it that have to do with responsibly acquiring these systems and responsibly developing these systems, and kind of again, crafting all of those arguments and evidence that go into responsible AI."

Michael Horowitz, the Defense Department's director of emerging capabilities policy, said faster implementation of artificial intelligence and autonomous technology solutions requires budget support and centralized leadership – both of which the Pentagon is working to address with the standing up of its chief digital and artificial intelligence office. 

"If data is the fuel that makes AI go essentially – what is an algorithm without the data that you would use to train it in one way or another – then bringing those together under the [chief digital and artificial intelligence office] construct, I think will be reflected in what a new strategy will likely look like as well," Horowitz said during a keynote panel at the event. "What's necessary now is to turn those thoughts into reality and to do it faster." 

Horowitz, who has been in the brand new role for about a month, said he was "pretty optimistic" about the Pentagon's direction and emphasis on AI and autonomy thanks to the creation of the emerging capabilities policy office, the CDAO, and innovation steering group that the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. 

"I think all of those things make me optimistic that, as we enter the sort of FY '24 budget cycle, that we're going to start seeing that payoff as the department becomes  -- it's not a question of just more, but smarter at thinking about AI and autonomous systems and investments in a way that really pays off for the joint force."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.