JAIC Pilots Artificial Intelligence Training for DOD
Written by Jackson Barnett
The Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center recently launched new AI training pilots for thousands of DOD employees, ranging from executive training for general officers to in-depth coding bootcamps.
The most recent cohort of participants began taking an “AI 101” course in early February through a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while another recently participated in an AI coding bootcamp. The AI Accelerator’s suite of educational offerings are designed to eventually be transferred to other DOD institutions so that tens or even hundreds of thousands of people can learn about AI, Greg said. Allen, head of policy and strategy for the JAIC, at FedScoop.
“We run training pilots to really test,” Allen said. “We are partnering with the broader Department of Defense… to help them deliver educational materials at scale.”
Allen added that “ultimately there will be hundreds of thousands of people” who will receive some form of AI training, out of the nearly 3 million DOD employees and military.
The work stems from a congressional mandate for the JAIC to develop an AI workforce and education strategy in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The JAIC is currently implementing is implementing this strategy through educational pilot projects, Allen said.
In this strategy, the JAIC has identified six archetypes of AI learners: Lead AI, Drive AI, Create AI, Employer AI, Facilitate AI and Embed AI. Each type of DOD employee needs a different level of detail about AI, so the JAIC relies on different platforms to teach them.
For general officers and general officers at the highest echelons of the military, Lead AI is an in-person seminar on the basics of what AI can do and its impact on the capabilities they oversee. On the other end of the spectrum is Create AI, a group of coders who will be developing machine learning models for the military and need specialized training in developing machine learning models.
One of the adjustments JAIC has made to its offerings for the Create AI category is a new coding bootcamp on the Python coding language that is often used to develop AI.
“These are people who actually need all the skill sets to meet their current and future operational needs,” Allen said.
By 2023, the JAIC hopes all of these lesson plans will be transferred to other organizations, such as Defense Acquisition University or the Air Force’s Digital University.
“The No. 1 thing that brings us the most joy is when we hear from past participants…they put what they’ve learned into practice in their jobs,” Allen said.