Army Seeks to Encourage Troops to Trust AI Through Project Ridgway; Col. Dan Kearney Quoted

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Artificial Intelligence
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The U.S. Army has launched a training program that seeks to encourage soldiers to use and develop artificial intelligence tools to gain military advantage on the battlefield, Defense One reported Wednesday.

Through Project Ridgway, the Army wants commanders and service members to recognize the importance of digital data and how it could be put to use to improve survivability in future conflicts.

“We have to put the force in a position so that when artificial intelligence efforts are thrust upon us, we are in a position to go ahead and employ them immediately,” said Col. Dan Kearney, XVIII Airborne Corps plans officer and head of Project Ridgway.

“You want leaders to trust that the algorithm is going to go ahead and extrapolate from the right data sets to go ahead and come out with this recommendation. And if commanders don’t trust it, they won’t use it, and they’ll second-guess it, and it will slow down the kill chain,” Kearney added.

Kearney said the program will have two lines of effort and the first intends to “create a culture of innovation that respects data as a strategic asset” through large-scale, voluntary training on the role of data in AI and other emerging technologies. The project’s second line of effort will involve service members who want to build up skills in data management and app development. 

This effort will include a four-month training via the software coding bootcamp Galvanize, six-month training through Joint Special Operations Command’s Gap program and applied data science training through Coursera. The other two lines of effort will deal with data governance and data infrastructure elements such as cloud and data storage technologies.

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