DHS S&T sets goals to guide risk-aware artificial intelligence use

“Officials in the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate are being intentional about how their hub supports the entire enterprise in pursuing artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

In an 18-page AI/ML Strategic Plan, released by the research and development arm on Friday, they point to inherent risks associated with advancing those novel technological capabilities and discuss how S&T aims to move forward responsibly.

‘We spent probably 10 months developing this document, and in the first two or three months, it was more of a brainstorming session to determine how we were going to move forward and how we were going to frame this out,’ Acting Deputy Director of DHS Technology Centers Division John Merrill told Nextgov in an interview on Tuesday. ‘Over the course of those early months, we had numerous sessions and discussions—looking at actual AI/ML capabilities and use cases, then the operational components coming back and giving us the input in terms of their expectations or what they wanted to do.’…”

“Throughout the document, officials place a strong emphasis on operating thoughtfully and responsibly as the emerging tech is deployed. They note that ‘DHS must develop and field this new technology in a way that protects privacy, civil rights and civil liberties, and protects against bias, both to ensure effectiveness and to maintain public trust,’ and that insiders must respond effectively when problems arise.

‘We need to ensure that, as we move forward, anything that we push for especially with AI and ML that’s going to be public-facing or associated with the public—the collection of any type of data—that it is going to be transparent to them that we are not violating their privacy,’ Merrill said. ‘Because all it takes is one incident and it will come crashing down. It will have residual effects across every program within the Department of Homeland Security.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: DHS Tech Directorate Sets Goals to Guide Risk-Aware Artificial Intelligence Use – By Brandi Vincent, August 3, 2021. Nextgov.

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