Pentagon forms ‘Task Force Lima’ to map generative AI for US defense

The United States Pentagon has launched a new task force to look into how generative artificial intelligence can be used for the nation’s defense.

On Aug. 10, the Pentagon announced the formation of “Task Force Lima” which would look into integrating AI across the U.S. defense apparatus so it can “design, deploy, and use generative AI technologies.”

In a statement, the Department of Defense said the aim is to use AI to enhance its business affairs, health, readiness, policy and warfighting capabilities.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks said part of Lima’s mission would also study how the department can defend against and respond to malicious or adversarial uses of AI.

The newly formed Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) — which launched in June 2022 — will lead the new task force, with U.S. Navy Captain Manuel Xavier Lugo named Lima’s mission commander.

Lima’s creation comes as tensions between the U.S. and China over AI technology continue to heighten.

Related: Pentagon is testing whether AI can plan response to an all-out war

On Aug. 9 President Joe Biden signed an executive order that named China, Hong Kong and Macau as countries of concern and tech investments in those regions would be would regulated and restricted.

Such tech investments — deemed critical for China’s military, intelligence and cyber capabilities — included semiconductors which are often vital for developing AI models.

The order adds to restrictions on AI chip sales to China that Biden implemented in October 2022 and U.S. officials are mulling tighter controls on such sales.

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