What Do You Think About Artificial Intelligence? The Pentagon’s AI Center Wants to Know.


Officials said they’ll be particularly interested in hearing from members of the software engineering, defense and aerospace communities.

The Pentagon’s nascent center devoted to artificial intelligence research and development wants to learn more about people’s perceptions of the budding technology.

According to a proposed information collection notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, the Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is funding a RAND Corporation-led study “exploring civil-military views regarding AI and related technologies.” 

“This data collection will help ensure [Defense’s] ability to engage with leading private sector technology corporations and their employees,” officials said in the notice. 

As is standard with federal information collections, the Pentagon must engage public feedback on whether it is necessary before the study is conducted. Defense will accept comments until March 16 on that specific matter. 

While details regarding the direct questions that’ll be asked and how the study will inform future Defense efforts are largely absent from the notice, officials make it clear that they hope to hear from members of the software engineering, defense and aerospace communities—as well as the general public. The notice forecasts that around 5,210 individuals are expected to respond.  

“The study will also conduct focus groups with members of the software engineering community and students from computer science programs,” it said.