The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) plans to release an updated framework for how the department will develop and adopt data analytics and AI capabilities by the end of the summer, according to Deputy CDAO Margie Palmieri.

During an event hosted by the Center for International and Strategic Studies on July 21, Palmieri explained that the document will provide organizations within the DoD with some guidance on how to develop solutions related to data analytics and AI capabilities.

The document will detail how DoD organizations “have to approach [these technologies] in an iterative and agile way,” Palmieri said. “[In building the new strategy,] we asked ourselves why. And so, a lot of that had to do with, where are we really thinking through agile processes and were we paying attention to that.”

“And then, it’ll not necessarily have specific milestones … it’s going to be something where organizations can nest inside of it and start to put their plans inside,” she said, adding that the new strategy builds on previous guidance published by the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC).

The guidance published by the JAIC outlined “near-, mid-and long-term goals – many of which the department hit and some of which we didn’t,” Palmieri said.

She explained that a cornerstone to an effective new strategy is recognizing that AI, unlike traditional software, requires even more constant iterative updates.

“We want the user inside of the system that has artificial intelligence to be constantly correcting and guiding the system in terms of feedback,” she said. “So, this idea that we’re much more iterative is a key anchor point.”

On the data front, the strategy will include specific guidelines on interoperability and the exchange of data. The department has already launched a series of experiments to inform the DoD on the development of an interoperable data-sharing network as well as bring together industry partners and international allies.

“We’re trying to think through, ‘how can we democratize data access?’” Palmieri said. And part of that work includes considering how the DoD can have industry partners “develop on top of government data to support a wide variety of users for their specific applications,” she said.

The series of experiments also intends to help identify the benefits and challenges of using emerging technologies.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.