AFC: Growing an AI-ready workforce
By Army Artificial Intelligence Task ForceAugust 31, 2020
For the Army, capabilities start with people.The Army is rapidly realizing modernization efforts to enable Multi-Domain Operations. Army Futures Command has launched multiple development initiatives with advanced technologies. Success in these initiatives will be principally driven by operators having the requisite technical skills to drive learning to establish performance and tactics for intelligent and autonomous systems that will augment the Soldier.Along these lines, the Army AI Task Force (AITF) is leading the establishment of an expansive program from the AI users operating these capabilities to the AI professionals that will lead the developments. This effort provides education and training opportunities at all echelons in order to fully inculcate the Army with a tech-ready and AI-enabled culture.The Army currently has several military and civilian specialties in AI-related fields. The need for leaders possessing operational relevance and technical expertise drove investments in educational and experiential opportunities to grow an AI-ready workforce. In coordination with a number of academic partners, the Army initiated a pilot program at Carnegie Mellon University.The pilot is focused on developing professional-level data science expertise. This pilot leverages two world-class master’s degree programs in data analytics and data engineering. Participants will take part in a robust set of activities including group project work, project presentations, interactions with industry leaders, and engagement opportunities with Army Senior Leaders.This will establish a professional network across pilot members to continue sharing research and applications as they grow their expertise and deliver AI capabilities. Upon completion of their degree, these AI-professionals will serve in utilization tours directly supporting the modernization and development priorities for the Army.This effort is complimented with other AI-related programs such as Leaders training, AI technicians to facilitate establishment of foundational data environments and scalable training for AI-users to employ for near-term AI capabilities.Bridging multiple levels of the workforce with data science training, this key initiative of the Army’s workforce modernization efforts will establish AI experts across the force. It will also expedite the application of existing technology and principles to advance operations and most importantly, educate our workforce in a dynamic role providing them the opportunity to best utilize their skills while continuing to serve.