The Defense Department (DoD) needs to operate at a fast pace to maintain global advantage, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are paving the way forward to more rapid response to national security threats and dangers, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Deputy Director Mike Madsen said today.

At the Dell Tech Forum, Madsen emphasized that “information superiority and information dominance may not be enough” to maintain that global advantage, and that accelerating human-machine interfaces will increase the military’s ability to make decisions decisively and quickly – both for military operations as well as responses to humanitarian and natural disasters.

Madsen said DIU has worked on a program called XV2, which has helped improve humanitarian assistance in identifying and helping evacuate individuals from hurricane zones.  The program, he said, has helped in “getting food supplies, water, [and] electricity, working much, much quicker.”

AI is also helping DoD quickly respond to cyber threats, Madsen said. He touched upon Project Voltron, a project that started under the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, that has developed AI to “assess and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities.”

“We can apply this algorithm to different platforms,” Madsen said of Project Voltron, which uses AI to evaluate “millions and millions of points” in DoD’s systems to find current vulnerabilities, but also to predict future vulnerabilities and how protect against them.

Madsen also said he hopes to apply predictive maintenance AI to Army vehicle fleets and Navy ships, after seeing success with use of the technology in Air Force aircraft maintenance.

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Melissa Harris