DOD hires policy team to implement AI principles

The DOD's Joint AI Center hired a new leader to head its policy team in implementing the department's new AI principles.
An entrance at the Pentagon. (DOD / Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm / Flickr)

The Defense Department has created a new artificial intelligence policy team to implement its recently announced ethical AI principles.

The two-member team, housed in the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, will be led by Alka Patel, a lawyer who has worked in the private sector and academia on AI policy. She also has broader responsibilities advising in technical and policy aspects of AI adoption, Arlo Abrahamson, a JAIC spokesman, said in an email.

“She has the right blend of technical, policy, legal, and ethics experience,” Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the JAIC, told reporters Monday. “In the coming months, she, along with the rest of our JAIC policy team, will be bringing together thought leaders from across the rest of the Department to work on the implementation of AI principles.”

While it took 15 months to develop the principles, the “really challenging part” of implementation will fall on Patel and her policy team, Shanahan said.


Patel was the executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Risk & Regulatory Services Innovation Center, an organization sponsored by professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate regulatory impacts on emerging technology, according her LinkedIn profile. She most recently was a research intern at the Montreal AI Ethics Institute.

“Her diverse skills and experience in the private sector made Alka the right fit for the JAIC to help advance the implementation of AI ethical principles for the DoD,” Abrahamson said.

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