ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. In its goal to drive transformational progress in artificial intelligence, the US military is bringing together several experts in the military and academia to better assess how systems using artificial intelligence and assistive automation, or AI/AA, work.
The United States Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOMAnalysis Center — known as DAC — has signed a partnership agreement with Northeastern University to use their respective expertise to develop an analytical framework for evaluating automated or partially automated systems utilizing AI. This five-year partnership agreement, signed in January of this year, enables DAC and Northeastern University Kostas Research Instituteknown as KRI, as well as several additional universities, to ultimately improve the performance and effectiveness of the United States Armed Forces.
“Having a solid analytical framework is critical to the successful integration of AI/AA within the military,” said DAC’s chief scientist, Dr. Thomas Stadterman. “The universities are focused on exploring techniques for assessing AI/AA, while the government will incorporate that research into frameworks to analyze and assess AI/AA-compatible systems in a military context.”
In February, DAC and KRI organized a two-day technical kick-off event to discuss research objectives and goals. DAC collaborated with principal investigators from Northeastern University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Pittsburgh, University of Georgia, Temple University and University of South Florida.
DAC and the universities will work together to provide an integrated set of metrics to qualify and quantify the effectiveness of AI/AA in different conditions and environments. The effort encompasses six multi-year objectives to drive disruptive innovation, including mission effectiveness analysis, decision ontology, automatic target recognition, human systems integration, cyber resilience/electronic warfare, and autonomous maneuver/mobility assessment.
“We are developing a body of evidence for all the different kinds of AI capabilities that the military expects in the future,” Stadterman said. “We’re trying to understand how best to analyze and assess these capabilities in an Army operational context — characterizing the scenario, threat and environment — to include the physical layout and the electromagnetic environment.”
Based on the discussions from the kick-off meeting, DAC and the universities have drawn up an annual performance plan to fund the nine universities that contribute to the six multi-year objectives. DAC will continue to support the research efforts of the Principal Investigators by providing direction, documentation and analytical expertise to enable the primary tasks of their projects.
According to Dr. David E. Luzzi, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Chairman of the Board of KRI, this unique collaboration builds a fact-based understanding of AI/AA on a battlefield while laying the foundation for future collaboration.
“KRI offers a multidisciplinary approach to DAC’s AI/AA framework development, integrating the contributions of a diverse array of engineering, social sciences, computer science, mathematics, psychology and design. We are empowered by the unique contributions of our partners and collaborators, as well as the capabilities of our incubated technology startups to shape and even challenge our research pathways,” said Luzzi. “In addition, the new Arlington, Virginia campus in Northeastern will provide high-tech research labs, including a robotics lab, making it the perfect space to host collaborative sessions with DEVCOM.”
This collaboration agreement also has applications outside of DAC: it deepens and broadens the academic knowledge of AI/AA where and from which professors, researchers and scientists can contribute and learn.
“As proposed technologies are vetted and assessed against this framework, the AI/AA learning curve flattens not only for the military, but also for the broader DOD and industry,” said Luzzi. “This body of knowledge will serve the military, DOD and industry product development initiatives, as well as the scientific community through our research to better understand military needs.”
DAC’s Zachary Steelman, leader of two of its multi-year objectives – mission effectiveness and ontology for decision-making – emphasizes that DAC’s foresighted reach to the scientific and technology community prior to systems handling also advances DOD knowledge.
DAC’s expert analytical capabilities provide insight early in the system development process to better inform military decisions. “Our modeling and simulation and analysis of mission effectiveness enable the military to be more efficient at producing technology that positively impacts the soldier, rather than developing technologies in a vacuum, without assessing how they will perform in play the battlefield.”
While this agreement provides a channel for researchers and analysts to exchange technical expertise to help the military better understand the performance, effectiveness and impact of emerging technologies, the analytical framework for AI/AA encompasses all of DAC’s missions: a series of analyzes around the world. entire life cycle to be ready today and guarantee a deadlier future power tomorrow.
The DEVCOM Analysis Center is one of DEVCOM’s eight science and technology centers. DAC, the United States military’s largest in-house analytical capability, provides objective analysis, experimentation and data to ensure preparedness and inform modernization decisions.