The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the launch of its National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute (NAII) to coordinate veteran-specific AI initiatives.

NAII will incorporate input from veterans, Federal agencies, industry, nonprofits, and academia to further AI projects that advance the health and well-being of veterans. The new organization will collaborate with various partners to support large-scale AI research and development (R&D), and draft national AI policy.

“VA has a unique opportunity to be a leader in artificial intelligence. VA’s artificial intelligence institute will usher in new capabilities and opportunities that will improve health outcomes for our nation’s heroes,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a press release.

On NAII’s official webpage, VA suggests that it is “uniquely positioned” to advance AI R&D. The agency touts itself as the largest integrated health care system in the country. The website states that VA has the largest genomic knowledge base in the world linked to health care information, and that nearly three quarters of doctors nationwide receive training through VA.

VA selected Gil Alterovitz, a member of the White House Precision Medicine Task Force, as NAII’s first director. NAII’s initial programs include R&D, tech sprints and partnerships, an affiliation hub, and education projects.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.