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Alka Patel: NDAA Provisions Could Help JAIC Operationalize Pentagon’s AI Ethics Principles

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Alka Patel
Alka Patel Chief of Ethics DoD JAIC

Alka Patel, chief of ethics at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), said the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains certain provisions that could help JAIC operationalize DoD’s AI ethics principles and advance Responsible AI, Nextgov reported Tuesday.

Patel cited Section 233 in the NDAA, which requires the DoD secretary to form a board of advisers for JAIC to assess and advise leaders on ethical matters with regard to the department’s use and development of AI. 

Another provision she mentioned is Section 235, which calls for the “acquisition of ethically and responsibly developed artificial intelligence technology.” Patel plans to introduce a Responsible AI Champions pilot within the department this spring to promote Responsible AI literacy and increase awareness of AI ethics principles. 

“Additionally, we want to create a DoD-wide network of Responsible AI Champions from across components who can be a resource within their respective areas as well as with each other,” Patel said. "They will also be extremely important creating a feedback loop to help us understand and inform future policies and guidance."