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US Air Force to increase use of generative AI

12th June 2024 - 10:55 GMT | by Flavia Camargos Pereira in Kansas City


NIPRGPT will aim to enable operators to complete diverse tasks by having human-like conversations. (Photo: US Air Force)

The service recently announced the NIPRGPT effort to allow for expanding experimentation with generative AI technology.

The US Air Force (USAF) has launched a new initiative to deepen the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). Named NIPRGPT, the effort was announced on 10 June as part of the service’s modernisation efforts.

The project intends to accelerate initiatives to enable guardians, airmen, civilian employees and contractors to access GenAI technology while maintaining adequate safeguards. NIPRGPT will work as an experimental bridge to leverage GenAI on the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network while the branch continues to explore maturing industry solutions.

The AI chatbot has been designed to allow users to have human-like conversations to complete various tasks such as correspondence, background papers and code.

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“Technology is learned by doing,” Chandra Donelson, acting chief data and artificial intelligence officer for the USAF, claimed. “As our warfighters, who are closest to the problems, are learning the technology, we are leveraging their insight to inform future policy, acquisition and investment solutions.”

Developed in a partnership between the Department of the Air Force chief information officer and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NIPRGPT has formed part of the Dark Saber software platform, a USAF ecosystem created at the AFRL Information Directorate which enables military personnel to advance the development of next-generation software.

AFRL chief information officer Alexis Bonnell noted that NIPRGPT would allow troops “to explore and build skills and familiarity as more powerful tools become available”.

The branch has stated that its senior leaders “are focused on maximising competitive advantage, recognising that airmen and guardians need advanced technologies at the speed of relevance”.

Increasing the use of GenAI has become a priority for the US government. The US Office of Personnel Management stated that it was “a powerful technology” that could improve operations and service delivery by using machine-based systems that can make predictions, recommendations and decisions.

GenAI can be used to create realistic simulation environments. (Photo: US Air Force)

The Potential benefits of GenAI for all industries range from increasing the efficiency of manual or repetitive tasks to improving the efficiency and speed of software and code development. Other benefits include the synthesising of information or extracting the main idea or key elements from massive datasets. It can also improve accessibility to users through features such as audio and video, as well as analysing and deriving insights from numerous files, and brainstorming and ideating.

In the defence domain, it can recognise patterns in massive datasets and use those patterns to better analyse adversaries’ behaviour, predict their strategies, and identify potential ways they would attack and defend.

GenAI models can also provide realistic simulation environments for skill-building practices while reducing the costs and risks associated with large-scale training events.

Aiming to harness the potential of this type of technology and speed up its deployment, in August 2023, the DoD established Task Force Lima to focus on broadening the use of generative AI. It has planned to enable the use of GenAI alongside large language models (LLMs) in a strategic manner by attempting to minimise national security risks.

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Flavia Camargos Pereira


Flavia Camargos Pereira

Flavia Camargos Pereira is a North America editor at Shephard Media. She joined the company …

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