Defense Department: AI’s ‘epicenter’ for AI

Defense Department officials said Thursday that their research into artificial intelligence is likely to create a “huge, massive” gap in military intelligence capabilities.

The department, in its annual defense strategy, also said that artificial intelligence and robotics could help make it easier for military personnel to identify targets and to provide the battlefield with more accurate information.

The Trump administration has taken an adversarial stance toward artificial intelligence in recent months, with Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Defense Secretary Ash Carter announcing a plan in June to ban the Pentagon from using artificial intelligence for “precision strike” missions.

The policy was first announced during the White House visit to the Pentagon.

It would also prohibit the Pentagon, which has about 40,000 military employees, from using any kind of technology that has the potential to “interfere with the lawful conduct of war,” according to a section of the policy that has not been fully released.

The Pentagon has long relied on the use of artificial intelligence to assess the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and has recently deployed a small number of analysts to conduct computer simulations and assess the effectiveness of counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq.

The Defense Department and other government agencies have been using technology to analyze military capabilities for several years, and the White, State and Pentagon Departments have been collaborating to develop artificial intelligence tools that can be deployed on the battlefield.

The new policy, which was released as the Trump administration unveiled its first budget proposal, will likely provide more clarity on how and when to use artificial intelligence, the Pentagon said.

The proposed budget would put more focus on building up the capabilities of the Department of Defense, which would have the most to gain from using AI, according to the policy.

That effort could be done by developing artificial intelligence-enabled tools and software, the budget said.