WASHINGTON -- U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley, director of Army Artificial Intelligence (AI) within Army Futures Command, presented during the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) AI and Autonomy workshop at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, on Feb. 12, 2019.

This special meeting on the AI and Autonomous Systems (AS) was designed to introduce the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and several Allied analysts to some of the many current applications for AI and AS, and discuss key ideas and issues identified in these areas.

"The global race to develop artificial intelligence--systems that imitate aspects of human cognition--is likely to accelerate the development of highly capable, application-specific AI systems with national security implications," says Easley.

The workshop opened the day after President Trump signed an executive order to spur the development and regulation of AI, which is considered to be technology that will define the future of everything from consumer products, to health care, to warfare.

Topics included an overview to AI and autonomy; examples of commercial and defense applications; international perspectives on AI and AS; and implications for the analyst community.

"As academia, major companies, and large government programs continue to develop and deploy AI capabilities, AI-enhanced systems are likely to be trusted with increasing levels of autonomy and decision making," says Easley. "This presents the world with a host of economic, military, ethical, and privacy challenges."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Army activated its AI Task Force at the birthplace of AI itself: Carnegie Mellon University. The activation, which took place Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), augments the Army's long-standing commitment to modernization and future technology, while also strengthening its ties to fundamental research in academia.