DOD: Cyber Ops to Use AI to Boost its Speed and Accuracy

The United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) says that it is looking at artificial intelligent for its cyber operations. This technology will aid operators in making faster and more accurate decisions, says Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the DOD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

During the 10th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit, Shanahan revealed that the Defense Department has been putting more focus on cybersecurity, specifically the use of AI. This tech will be used for counter or adversarial purposes especially because “cyber” is the “battlefields of the future.”

DOD: Cyber Ops to Use AI to Boost its Speed and Accuracy

The general also noted that the artificially intelligent instruments should be able to operate in “extreme field environments.” The troops, who will be using these systems, should be able to trust these tools.

To achieve this goal, the DOD is looking at establishing a “red team” training strategy. This approach requires “pitting an opposition force against cyber operators to test the limits of cyber defense.” The department’s Defense Innovation Unit has been working on an automated red team which will computerize the red team’s moves.

Shanahan remarked that counter-AI is “analogous to electronic warfare” and that it should be anticipated. In order to create a counter-AI, the DOD is focusing on three areas namely talent, culture and data. He also noted that data is only of the largest sources of obstacles to creating the said tech.

Shanahan also said that the DOD’s data and intelligence systems were not designed to cater to artificial intelligence. This is the reason why data is a huge issue in creating a counter-AI.

The biggest challenge in terms of data is creating an algorithm that is able to detect anomalies and variances in the system. This requires knowing what constitutes “normal” in order to identify deviations.

Other problems with regard to data are related to accessibility, quality, content, format, and organization.

In addressing the data issue, the DOD will need to work with the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency. This also requires the department to partner up with the 24 cybersecurity service providers in the country. These organizations are focused on curating, sharing and storing information.

In addition, the general also noted that the DOD will be collaborating with commercial vendors in order to assess the viability of the outcome. However, private vendors will not know what data they would be encountering.