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AFA WMC 212 Supports an ‘AFRL Digital Dialogue’ Discussion

AFA WMC Speaks to AFRL scientists, engineers, and researchers regarding the power and importance of AI in maintaining air and space dominance.

AFA WMC 212 Supports an ‘AFRL Digital Dialogue’ Discussion

At a recent National Defense Forum, Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) Kendall reiterated the Air and Space Forces need AI tools for data analysis, target recognition, sensor management and a whole host of tasks that currently overwhelm human operators; and stated emphatically that AI is an essential technology needed to strengthen U.S. national defense capabilities. AFA WMC Supports an ‘AFRL Digital Dialogue’ Discussion

In support of bringing this viewpoint home to key Air Forces Research Laboratories (AFRL) professionals, Bill Magnuson (from Technology First®) and AFA Wright Memorial Chapter 212 President Dave Babcock joined forces in a discussion about “Navigating AI Adoption” – and it was a resounding success.

To be clear, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new to AFRL! The organization has substantially enhanced military capabilities through AI in a number of initiatives! With that said, AFRL employs approximately 12,500 professionals, and the audience was mainly comprised of scientists, engineers, and researchers who are not yet using AI in their work today, but were interested in learning about the PROs, CONs, positive impacts, challenges, risks, and ‘lessons learned’ in how to incorporate AI into their specific AFRL technical directorate or organization.

Our presentation’s key topics included:

  • “AI Landscape & Opportunities” – which discussed an overview of AI technologies and trends. Opportunities for AFRL AI & ML, and the potential impact on national security and defense
  • “Governance, Policies, Ethics, and Bias” – which examined the need for AI governance frameworks, comprehensive AI policies, risk management, principles of ethical AI use, and techniques to detect bias-
  • “Change Management” – which reviewed the ‘whys and hows’ of bridging technology and people while minimizing disruption.

It resulted in a lively discussion about the use of AI in the military, and hopefully was one small step in the SECAF’s goal to “find ways to evaluate this technology, become confident in it, have the ability to trust it, and to get it into fielded capabilities as quickly as we can.”