Defense Department’s CIO Dana Deasy says academia is the key to winning in AI warfare

Algorithmic Warfare: Academia Key to Maintaining U.S. Lead in AI

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

While countries around the world are investing big in AI, the United States’ advantage is in its talent pipeline and universities, said Dana Deasy, the Defense Department’s chief information officer.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we continue to have the most exquisite capability in terms of people, academic talent [and] startups as a nation,” he told reporters during a recent meeting in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to continue to have to have the best academic environment in the world,” Deasy said. “It all starts there. You can look at any great set of technology that’s come out of the U.S. that’s ended up being used and you could find its roots first by somebody who came out of some academic environment [and] then went into either a startup role or some technology firm.”

The Defense Department is then able to leverage the innovation occurring in colleges and universities across the country and apply it to its own weapon systems, he said. Artificial intelligence is a key focus area.

Illustration: Getty