The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) today announced that their Center of Excellence (CoE) effort has achieved new milestones in leveraging data as a strategic asset while advancing AI tech across DoD.

“In partnership together, the team has achieved significant milestones very quickly,” said CoE Executive Director Bob De Luca. “The efforts of the CoE are amplified by the JAIC’s focus on action and immense commitment to the mission, enabling us to gain momentum to scale AI within the DoD – and across the Federal government. The JAIC partnership allows us to impact the American citizen, not just in defense-specific mission areas, but in broader areas, such as healthcare, cybersecurity, and humanitarian assistance.”

Since its inception in September of last year, the CoE has led “a series of human-centered design workshops to determine essential roles and responsibilities for managing data assets,” GSA explained. “These roles and responsibilities will shape a flexible governance framework to manage data holdings covering a broad range of mission areas, including cybersecurity, healthcare, predictive maintenance, and business automation,” GSA said in a statement.

The workshops brought together best practices from the private sector, as well as lessons learned from other Federal agencies looking to achieve similar goals. “By highlighting stakeholder perspectives and adopting a user-centric approach, the CoE and the JAIC have begun to shape the future of data management for accelerating the adoption of artificial intelligence initiatives,” GSA said.

“The CoE model gives us an opportunity to share experience gained from industry and Federal partners with the JAIC, building on the successes of organizations that have come before us,” said Anil Cheriyan, director of GSA’s Technology Transformation Services organization. “The AI journey is one we are taking together and it’s essential to get the fundamentals right. We are offering a pathway for agency partners to accelerate their own AI journey.”

Through the CoE, JAIC is implementing new acquisition methods to deliver AI-enabling capabilities in data integration, enterprise-scale DevSecOps, and Verification, Validation, Test, and Evaluation. Additionally, JAIC is able to aid AI adoption by adopting governance practices tailored specifically to AI initiatives. GSA and JAIC said that the system of rapid, iterative decision making will “also aid in baselining and measuring the effectiveness of key AI activities while operating as a leading organization in the ethical, transparent, and explainable adoption of AI in the DoD.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.