In a remarkable achievement, the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) recently hosted an extraordinary AI/ML Summit on October 25-26, 2023. With more than 150 external participants in attendance, this third iteration of the annual event marked a substantial surge in interest, tripling last year’s numbers.
The summit began with an opening address by Lt. Gen. James B. Jarrard, USARPAC’s deputy commanding general. During his speech, Lt. Gen. Jarrard highlighted the importance of diverse perspectives in solving complex problems. He urged all participants, representing a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, to collaborate as a team, emphasizing the pivotal role that diversity plays in finding optimal solutions.
Uniting the AI/ML community
A core objective of the summit was to bring together the AI/ML Community. This diverse collective includes military personnel, private sector experts, and academic scholars who share a common mission: addressing challenges and capability gaps in AI/ML integration. The overarching goal is to leverage AI/ML capabilities to facilitate data-driven decision-making and streamline decision cycle timelines.
USARPAC’s engagement with the AI/ML community is part of a broader strategy to stay ahead of emerging threats in the Indo-Pacific region through technological advancements. By fostering collaboration and ongoing experimentation, the organization aims to make significant progress in AI/ML integration.
Maj. Josh Deehr, the USARPAC Chief Data Office deputy director, emphasized the significance of assembling a diverse audience. This includes representatives from various service components, research centers across the Department of Defense, and academia. By convening these stakeholders annually, USARPAC seeks to gain a comprehensive understanding of ongoing efforts, both within and outside the organization, and align their initiatives for a unified path forward.
Integrating experimentation for soldier needs
USARPAC’s experimentation and concepts branch is pivotal in promoting experimentation integration throughout Operation Pathways. This approach aims to cater to the needs of soldiers in a range of scenarios, encompassing competition, crisis, and conflict.
The summit featured four primary working groups, each dedicated to specific areas of AI/ML development and integration:
This working group focused on optimizing naval logistics in challenging environments, enhancing traditional diagnostics with machine learning, managing ammunition inventory, and improving supply chain analytics and visualizations.
Network modeling and simulation
The network modeling and simulation working group explored the discovery of hidden behaviors in binary software applications and enhancements to the Air Mobility Command’s persistent digital environment.
This group discussed advanced tactical reasoning, AI-assisted situation report generation, and tools for foreign disclosure decision support. The working group dedicated to enhancing the digital kill chain delved into topics such as correlating order-of-battle movement patterns, optimizing information content, and employing synthetic data for AI/ML.
Capt. Jennifer Niemann, from the U.S. Army Artificial Intelligence Integration Center, emphasized the value of partnerships between technical experts and those with Army knowledge. This collaborative alliance enhanced the productivity of discussions, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of AI/ML applications.
A stride toward technological leadership
By uniting individuals who share a collective mission, USARPAC aims to strengthen its position as a leader in the ever-evolving technological landscape. The summit provided an invaluable platform for discussions and the exchange of ideas that have the potential to shape the future of AI/ML in military and defense applications.
The U.S. Army Pacific’s groundbreaking AI/ML Summit underscores the organization’s dedication to harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to address intricate challenges and enhance decision-making processes. With a collaborative and diverse approach, USARPAC is poised to make significant advances in the integration of AI/ML technologies, ultimately contributing to the security and effectiveness of operations in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.