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Gen. James McConville: Army Building Software Factory to Advance AI, Machine Learning Capabilities

2 mins read
Gen. James McConville
Gen. James McConville Chief of Staff US Army

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told National Defense in an interview published Monday that the service has two initiatives going on to advance the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning and one of those is the establishment of its own software factory. 

“One of the things we've learned during Project Convergences is we need soldiers on the battlefield that can quickly code and update our systems because the speed of combat is so fast,” McConville told the magazine. “And when you start using artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous systems, you need that capability on the battlefield.”

To facilitate the procurement of software platforms, he said the Army has an “IT box, which allows us to do certain things in the information technology area to rapidly invest in information technology in a different way than we have to do with some of the other [acquisition] processes.”

McConville said the service expects research and development work on AI and ML capabilities to transition to programs of record by fiscal year 2023 and is looking at using those capabilities in predictive maintenance, targeting and autonomous systems, among other areas.

McConville also shared his thoughts on the Army’s use of other transaction authority agreements and provided updates on the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and hypersonic programs and on the joint all-domain command-and-control concept.

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