There is little doubt that the Defense Department needs help from Silicon Valley’s biggest companies as it pursues work on artificial intelligence. The question is whether the people who work at those companies are willing to cooperate.
On Thursday, Robert O. Work, a former deputy secretary of defense, announced that he is teaming up with the Center for a New American Security, an influential Washington think tank that specializes in national security, to create a task force of former government officials, academics and representatives from private industry. Their goal is to explore how the federal government should embrace A.I. technology and work better with big tech companies and other organizations.
Mr. Work was the driving force behind the creation of Project Maven, the Defense Department’s sweeping effort to embrace artificial intelligence. His new task force will include Terah Lyons, the executive director of the Partnership on AI, an industry group that includes many of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.
Mr. Work will lead the 18-member task force with Andrew Moore, the dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Moore has warned that too much of the country’s computer science talent is going to work at America’s largest internet companies.
Here is the CNAS press release. Here is what TechCrunch has to say about the new task force. Here is what Engadget has to say.
Paul Scharre and Gregory Allen of CNAS recently helped co-author a major AI report entitled "The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation."
A number of other think tanks are also focused on AI. Brookings has talked about the topic for years, and in late July, a group of Brookings scholars will publish a book on the future of AI.
The Atlantic Council is another think tank that has been writing about AI, as is the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (see here and here), RAND Corporation, (see here), and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
The US government is also getting more serious about AI. The Pentagon even has a secret AI program to find hidden nuclear missiles.