US Army Seeks Industry Collaboration for AI Safety Testing

  • The US Army seeks industry input to develop a comprehensive “layered defense framework” for AI deployment.
  • Dubbed #DefendAI, the initiative emphasizes safety, security, and efficiency in adopting commercial AI technologies.
  • Industry collaboration is solicited for both specific tools and the overall framework, with formal Requests For Information to be issued.
  • The framework, akin to the Unified Data Reference Architecture, aims to mitigate risks through tailored security measures based on application sensitivity.
  • Automation is key to expediting AI adoption while managing and reducing associated risks.

Main AI News:

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly integrated into critical systems, the US Army is seeking the expertise of industry leaders to develop a robust “layered defense framework” for AI deployment. Dubbed #DefendAI, this initiative aims to ensure the safe, secure, and efficient adoption of commercial AI technologies across military applications.

#DefendAI, a moniker credited to suggestions from ChatGPT, emphasizes the importance of comprehensive testing and tailored defenses for AI systems deployed in sensitive environments such as weapons platforms, tactical networks, and aircraft flight controls. Conversely, less critical applications like back-office functions may undergo less stringent testing procedures.

While the overarching goals of #DefendAI are clear, the specifics remain fluid, with Army officials expressing a strong desire for industry feedback and flexibility in shaping the framework. Young Bang, the principal civilian deputy to Army acquisition chief Doug Bush, stressed the importance of industry collaboration in accelerating the adoption of third-party AI algorithms.

Speaking at the Defense Scoop DefenseTalks conference, Bang highlighted the need for industry input on both specific tools and the overall framework. He welcomed pitches for processes and tools that could support the layered defense approach, recognizing the commercial interests involved.

In addition to soliciting tool suggestions, the Army has initiated the 2024 Scalable AI contest, inviting small businesses to contribute to the #DefendAI effort. With categories focusing on AI risk management and testing, the contest underscores the importance of innovative solutions in addressing AI challenges.

Beyond tool recommendations, Bang emphasized the Army’s openness to industry insights on shaping the framework itself. Formal Requests For Information will be issued, providing opportunities for stakeholders to contribute to the framework’s evolution.

The #DefendAI framework, akin to the Unified Data Reference Architecture (UDRA), aims to provide a structured approach to AI deployment. Just as UDRA evolved with industry feedback, #DefendAI will be a collaborative effort, iteratively refined based on input from various stakeholders.

Central to the framework is the concept of risk mitigation, with different levels of security measures tailored to the sensitivity of the AI application. From high-risk tactical systems to low-risk internal applications, the framework aims to streamline the adoption process while ensuring appropriate security measures are in place.

Bang emphasized the importance of automation in expediting the adoption of AI algorithms, minimizing reliance on manual processes and accelerating deployment. While acknowledging inherent risks, the goal of #DefendAI is to effectively manage and reduce these risks through proactive measures.

Ultimately, #DefendAI represents a pivotal collaboration between the military and industry, leveraging expertise and innovation to safeguard AI deployment in critical defense systems. Through ongoing collaboration and iterative refinement, the framework aims to adapt to evolving threats and technologies, ensuring the continued safety and effectiveness of AI-enabled capabilities.


The Army’s engagement with industry stakeholders to develop the #DefendAI framework signifies a collaborative approach to addressing AI safety concerns. This initiative presents opportunities for companies to contribute innovative solutions and tools, potentially driving demand for AI security and testing services in the defense market. Moreover, the emphasis on automation reflects a broader trend towards efficiency and agility in adopting AI technologies across industries.


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