Agile a key theme at the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centres Industry Day

From: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Published: Thu Jun 08 2023

The DAIC held its first Industry Engagement Day in London on 6 March 2023.

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is critical for Defence to maintain its strategic advantage. Industry has a vital role to play as a key engine of innovation. Over 100 tech companies from across the UK joined the Defence AI Centre (DAIC) at its first Industry Engagement Day in London on 6 March 2023 to discuss upcoming commercial pipelines and to develop opportunities to better engage with Defence.

Opening the day, AVM David Arthurton said it was clear we must increase operational tempo and agility to improve efficiency across Defence and unlock new capabilities and new ways to secure strategic advantage. Because most new and emerging technologies like AI are inherently dual use, innovation is found across a broad ecosystem, with fast-moving, small-to-medium-scale tech enterprises playing a key part.

Main themes focused on the DAIC's agile approach to bring AI out of the lab and operationalised into a capability, and highlighted what the DAIC has accomplished since it's initial operating capability a year ago. The day also outlined DAIC's commercial pipeline - including the Agile Delivery Partner- along with opportunities to co-create our AI network and operating models.

With our agile commercial approach, senior DAIC leaders explained how it is operating across Defence as a cohering mechanism to smooth the way for AI adoption. The DAIC's ambitious work stretches from the ‘back office' to the front line, helping enhance the speed and efficiency of business processes and support functions; increasing the quality of decision-making and tempo of operations; improving the security and resilience of inter-connected networks; enhancing the mass, persistence, reach and effectiveness of our military forces; and protecting our people from harm by automating ‘dull, dirty and dangerous' tasks.

The day underscored Defence's approach to ambitious, safe and responsible AI with an initial human-machine teaming approach, for example analysing satellite imagery. There were also discussions around some of the challenges with AI; the foundational importance of data; and the DAIC's approach of working with industry to operationalise AI.

Feedback from the day was positive. Many present expressed that they were encouraged and keen to see the details in action. One social media user commented, “a refreshing event that spoke with energy but also humility on the speed bumps ahead.” This was the first of a series of Industry Days the DAIC will hold.

The Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC) was established in 2021's Integrated Review to harness the game-changing power of AI across Defence. It is capitalising on the UK's status as a global superpower in AI by enabling military use cases through working collaboratively with international partners, across government, academia, and a wide spectrum defence suppliers. The DAIC is a federated organisation, with coordination across agencies within Defence: Defence Digital, DE&S, Dstl and the Digital Foundry.

Company: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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