Hicks establishes 'Task Force Lima' to field generative AI capabilities

By John Liang / August 10, 2023 at 3:57 PM

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has established a task force to focus the Defense Department's "exploration and responsible fielding" of generative artificial intelligence capabilities, including Large Language Models.

"Generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, such as Large Language Models (LLM), are growing in popularity, capability, and impact around the globe," Hicks writes in a memo issued today. "These capabilities are trained on massive datasets in order to generate content at a level of detail and apparent coherence that would have previously required human authorship. These capabilities unlock new opportunities, just as they pose significant new risks. The DOD faces an imperative to explore the use of this technology and the potential of these models' scale, speed, and interactive capabilities to improve the Department's mission effectiveness while simultaneously identifying proper protection measures and mitigating a variety of related risks."

Hicks wants Task Force Lima to "develop, evaluate, recommend, and monitor the implementation of generative AI technologies across DOD to ensure the Department is able to design, deploy, and use generative AI technologies responsibly and securely. The Task Force will provide guidance and make recommendations for the relevant policy-making bodies to address."

The deputy secretary has designated the Pentagon's Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer to lead Task Force Lima, according to the memo, which was released publicly but is marked as "CUI" (controlled unclassified information).

"[S]pecific roles and responsibilities for governance are discussed in the attached Charter and Generative Artificial Intelligence Coordination and Governance Plan," her memo states.

The task force, the memo states, "will provide the framework and initiative for DOD to:

  • "Accelerate promising generative AI initiatives and joint solutions;
  • "Federate disparate developmental and research efforts into a DoD community of practice to accelerate innovation and implementation;
  • "Evaluate solutions across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy;
  • "Drive education and build a culture of responsible implementation and use; and,
  • "Ensure coordinated DoD engagement with interagency, international, educational, civil society, and industry partners regarding responsible development and use of generative AI."