Responsible AI

Responsible AI provides allies with the confidence that the DoD’s AI-enabled systems will be safe, reliable, and will adhere to ethical standards.

What is Responsible Artificial Intelligence?

Responsible Artificial Intelligence, or RAI, is a holistic, integrated, and disciplined approach that focuses, not only on the technology, namely operationalizing the DoD AI Ethics Principles via good engineering practices, but on organizational operating structures and culture necessary to advance the responsible design, development, procurement and use of AI.

Responsible AI provides Service members, the American public, and DoD partners and allies the confidence that DoD’s AI-enabled systems will be safe and reliable and will adhere to Ethical Principles of AI.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a significant opportunity to provide the DoD with tremendous impact and value... but, it must be managed wisely and aligned to DoD needs.

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Implementing Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Defense

In May 2021, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks executed a memorandum outlining the Department of Defense’s commitment to responsible AI. In this memo, Secretary Hicks outlined tenets to advance and operationalize the DoD’s AI Ethic’s Principles. With an objective to build a trusted ecosystem of AI tools and subject matter expertise, the tenets outlined in the memo will enable the Department to enhance military capabilities and build confidence with our workforce, warfighters, and the American public by utilizing AI in a responsible manner.


Responsible AI Implementation Tenets

RAI Governance

Ensure disciplined governance structure and processes at the Component and DoD-wide levels for oversight and accountability and clearly articulate DoD guidelines and policies on RAl and associated incentives to accelerate adoption of RAI within the DoD.

Warfighter Trust

Ensure warfighter trust by providing education and training, establishing a test and evaluation and verification and validation framework that integrates real-time monitoring, algorithm confidence metrics, and user feedback to ensure trusted and trustworthy Al capabilities.

AI Product and Acquisition Lifecycle

Develop tools, policies, processes, systems, and guidance to synchronize enterprise RAI implementation for the AI product throughout the acquisition lifecycle through a systems engineering and risk management approach.

Requirements Validation

Incorporate RAJ into all applicable AI requirements, including joint performance requirements established and approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, to ensure RAI inclusion in appropriate DoD AI capabilities.

Responsible AI Ecosystem

Build a robust national and global RAI ecosystem to improve intergovernmental, academic, industry, and stakeholder collaboration, including cooperation with allies and coalition partners, and to advance global norms grounded in shared values.

AI Workforce

Build, train, equip, and retain an RAI-ready workforce to ensure robust talent planning, recruitment, and capacity-building measures, including workforce education and training on RAl.

Government Ethics

1. Responsible

DoD personnel will exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care, while remaining responsible for the development, deployment, and use of AI capabilities.

2. Equitable

The Department will take deliberate steps to minimize unintended bias in AI capabilities.

3. Traceable

The Department’s AI capabilities will be developed and deployed such that relevant personnel possess an appropriate understanding of the technology, development processes, and operational methods applicable to AI capabilities, including with transparent and auditable methodologies, data sources, and design procedure and documentation.

4. Reliable

The Department’s AI capabilities will have explicit, well-defined uses, and the safety, security, and effectiveness of such capabilities will be subject to testing and assurance within those defined uses across their entire life-cycles.

5. Governable

The Department will design and engineer AI capabilities to fulfill their intended functions while possessing the ability to detect and avoid unintended consequences, and the ability to disengage or deactivate deployed systems that demonstrate unintended behavior.